Photo: courtesy of Epicenter XL.
In early May, Epic Esports Events held EPICENTER XL, the third iteration of the international EPICENTER Dota 2 tournament. Taking place in Moscow as the first-ever Russian-hosted tournament to hold the Major status, it saw 12 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world compete for a huge prize pool of $1,000,000.
Founded in 2009, LGD Gaming is one of China’s most prominent and recognizable Esports organization in the country with notably divisions in Dota2 and League of Legends, regularly claiming league first places in China and gathering millions of viewers every time. Although it has been successful in the past, LGD has never been able to win a Dota2 major.
Coming off a second place finish last month at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018, for which the team got a significant amount of circuit points, and with only a few tournaments lefts to grab more, LGD was looking for a good placement at Epicenter XL in order to guarantee its invite for The International. The International or TI is the biggest and most prestigious annual tournament organized by Valve. Comparable to League of Legends’ World Championship, The International is known for the absurdly high prize pools it featured in the recent years, surpassing the $20 million mark since 2016.
After establishing a partnership with French football giants Paris Saint-Germain a couple weeks prior to the event, LGD’s main squad renamed to PSG.LGD. The team secured its spot in the upper bracket of the Playoffs after taking second place of Group A behind TI7 champions Team Liquid. There, they defeated Virtus.pro 2-1 in round 1, advancing to the upper bracket’s finals where they won 2-0 against Liquid, besting the first seat of both stage groups. Team Liquid eventually found its way back to the finals through the lower bracket but fell short once more to the Chinese powerhouse in the best of 5, taking only one game from them.
Along with granting the organization its first Dota 2 Major win, PSG.LGD became the first ever Chinese team to win a Major and earned enough points to take 4th place in the standings of the Pro Circuit, insuring them to play at TI8 in Vancouver.