Fresh off a sponsorship from football club Paris Saint-Germain, LGD Gaming—now PSG.LGD—won this weekend’s Dota 2 Epicenter XL major, getting some prize money, circuit points, and a sweet Infinity Gauntlet.
PSG.LGD got its first big points grab in the Dota pro circuit in last month’s Dota Asia Championships 2018, where the team came in 2nd. With only a handful of tournaments left to secure points for a spot in the top 8, guaranteeing an invite to this year’s International, every major and minor is crucial for those outside the bubble.
While Epicenter is big for points, it also had one other odd prize to award: a massive replica of the Infinity Gauntlet, to whoever might be crowned the MVP of the tournament. I’m not exactly sure why a Dota 2 tournament is awarding a prize from a comic book multiverse, but it is pretty damn cool.
Even in the short time between DAC and this weekend, PSG.LGD has grown and adapted. The team entered the grand finals through the upper bracket, defeating the top two teams in the pro circuit to do so. So when one of those teams, Liquid, rose back up through the lower bracket for a rematch in the grand finals, PSG.LGD already had a leg up.
While every member of PSG.LGD was playing well, Wang “Ame” Chunyu stood out in particular. He’s got a wide pool of heroes and knows how to use them well, making the best of their strengths and obfuscating weaknesses. He shone most of all on Morphling, the shape-shifting water elemental that can dish out huge burst damage and also morph into enemy heroes for a short time, allowing him to do some impressive tricks.
This isn’t to say Liquid were slouches, however. In Liquid’s one win of the best-of-five series, Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi shone on Invoker, in a draft that seemed built for him to do so. Most of his team played lockdown while Al-Barkawi flung spell after spell, eventually getting a rampage—landing the final blow on every member of the enemy team in one fight.
But PSG.LGD had the upper-hand on Team Liquid. Besides each player—especially Chunyu—excelling in their own role, the team made excellent use of its timing windows.
Dota 2 has a lot of power spikes, or moments when a character has a great leap in power that would elevate them above others at the same level. Sometimes it’s reaching a certain level, other times it’s when a hero has accrued enough gold to buy a key item. A very common one that PSG.LGD used excellently was when key heroes acquired a Black King Bar, an item that makes you invulnerable to magic for a short time when activated. PSG.LGD played around their BKB timings, looking to fight and gain an advantage once they were secured. While the big late-game fights were spectacular to behold, PSG.LGD always managed to stay in it by understanding good times to take fights, and coordinating well during those skirmishes.
PSG.LGD closed out the series and won 3-1, defeating the defending International champs and securing enough pro circuit points to put them in a comfortable 4th place, just behind Team Secret.
As for the MVP trophy, which happened to be a giant replica of Thanos’ infinity gauntlet for some reason, it went to Chunyu.