PSG.LGD is the first to secure its spot in the Grand Finals of The International 10. Can the Tournament Favorites Secure the Title this year?
TI10 has it's first finalist as Team Secret gets sent to the Lower Bracket Finals by PSG.LGD! The Upper Bracket Finals took place between PSG.LGD and Team Secret, for a spot into the Grand Finals of TI10!
Team Secret, having already attained their best result at TI, was looking to continue their run all the way to the Grand Finals! A Goal that Puppey has failed to attain since forming the team in 2014.
PSG.LGD erstwhile were looking to return to the Grand Finals for the second time since 2018, having already secured a historic 5 podium finishes at the biggest tournament of them all!
Team Secret was the first team to take a game off of them at this tournament, would they yet again make the titans bleed?
The stage was set for a clash of titans, and the small matter of $1.6 Million.
Team Secret would pick 2 of the heroes who have proven remarkable on the main stage, picking Magnus and Winter Wyvern. PSG.LGD however would pick a combo strategy of Tiny and Lycan which had served them very well in the group stage.
Coach Heen for Team Secret would feel confident in his team's pick and not be intimidated by the best in the world.
"We weren't really surprised in this draft"
Heen on the Game 1 draft.
Game 1 Begins
The game began as a slower burn, with neither team wanting to make any unnecessary risks; leading to a very farm heavy early game.
To the degree where neither team was willing to risk confrontation, willing to allow one another to claim objectives on the map. Team Secret would take advantage of this by claiming an early Aegis, however PSG.LGD would gain an early farm lead on Tiny.
With the damage available to this hero, Team Secret felt very afraid of confronting PSG.LGD on the map; allowing them time to also build an Aghanims scepter on Lycan, which would make the Tiny even stronger!
At this point, the PSG.LGD strategy became clear, make Tiny a demigod and allow him to carry the game.
As the game continued to scale onwards, Team Secret would be forced into playing a shell game. Sneaking farm for their cores, the could do little but wait for PSG.LGD to come.
When they eventually did, it would be with overwhelming force with their Tiny dealing around 2000 damage per hit.
From here, PSG.LGD would feel no fear, shortly thereafter overwhelming Team Secret inside their base to force the GG call.
With this victory, PSG.LGD was yet again living up to their billing as the best team in the world.
Beginning of a comeback? Team Secret changes up their draft
Going into the second game, Team Secret would opt for an interesting draft with a mid Gyrocopter, and putting captain Puppey on Io. They would buttress this with pace for the game from the Zai Beastmaster.
With PSG.LGD picking a fighting orientated lineup; utilizing heroes such as Elder Titan and Monkey King with push potential from their Leshrac for NothingToSay.
At the end of the draft, Coach Xiao8
would be optimistic not just about the game, but the entire tournament for his team.
Coach Xiao8 when asked about his team's prospects for the game.
One step away from glory!
Game 2 would also see both teams playing slowly and with great caution; however this time Team Secret had heroes better able to scale into the late game, so they weren't playing under as much pressure.
The key change however was Team Secret being better able to respond to PSG.LGD's pressure on the map, and thus not lose out on early map control.
Not only that, but they were eventually able to string together key kills on the map using their mobility advantage.
From here Team Secret would gain a farm advantage on the map. However, the were still finding it difficult to kill the PSG.LGD cores; with dispels from the Faith_Bian Legion Commander, and several force staffs on the team.
Though lacking kills, Team Secret would use the gold advantage to secure Roshan despite a nearly disastrous fight outside the pit.
From here, they would pursue buildings on the high ground. Taking the top lane of barracks, the seemed close to securing even more.
PSG.LGD would have other ideas.
PSG.LGD setting the world standard!
Though Team Secret didn't lose as much PSG.LGD did, it was evident that they could not attempt this push again without the further advantage.
Fortunately for them, they were able to secure an ever great gold lead on the map.
Eventually feeling strong enough to come up the high ground once more, they would play aggressively to bury PSG.LGD in one fell swoop.
Not only would Team Secret be outplayed by the spell usage from their opponents, but also their itemization. With Faith_Bian buying a Ghost Scepter to prevent Team Secret's physical damage from harming him. This negated a lot of their potential initiation, allowing PSG. LGD to setup for the perfect teamfight execution.
From this point, they would bound all across the map, and despite defending their base with a 17k gold deficit less than 2 minutes earlier; suddenly they would push into Team Secret's base and secure the second game!
Though they spent most of the game in a disadvantage in gold, experience, and win probability; it never truly felt like PSG.LGD were playing at a disadvantage.
Dangerous throughout the game, their victory felt almost inevitable no matter what the metrics said.
Although closer to the Aegis than any team besides OG
since 2017, Xiao8 would both recognize their achievement whilst acknowledging the road ahead.
"I hope everyone who has a dream reaches their dream"
Coach Xiao8 on his team being in the Grand Finals.
Puppey returns to the podium! Team Secret down to the Lower Bracket Finals
With this defeat, Team Secret would drop to the Lower Bracket Finals. While being guaranteed 3rd place represents the best result for the Team Secret organization, 3 of their players are returning players to such honours.
having come this far in 2016, whilst Puppey and Matumbaman have won the whole thing in 2011 and 2017 respectively.
They would have an opportunity tomorrow to attempt to earn their rematch with PSG.LGD, as they compete in the Lower Bracket Finals!