PSG.LGD sent the two-time EPICENTER champions Team Liquid to the lower brackets to secure their spot at the EPICENTER XL Grand Finals. tomorrow. The Chinese powerhouse will now have to wait for the results of the lower bracket finals to know which team they will have to face in the ultimate round.
So much for predictable, eh? For much of the 2017-18 Pro Circuit, this very word was used to describe the top Dota 2 teams in China. Though no one doubted their skill, many believed that powerhouses like Newbee, ViCi Gaming, VGJ.Thunder and PSG.LGD, among others, are far too stubborn to try out viable picks from teams of other regions.
That no longer seems to be the case after PSG.LGD booked their third Grand Finals appearance in a Pro Circuit LAN by sweeping Team Liquid at the upper bracket finals on the backs of unconventional picks. This included the likes of Slark, Axe, Skywrath Mage, and Queen of Pain, among others.
If PSG.LGD can keep up their performance at the EPICENTER XL Grand Finals, the trophy, prize money, and a direct invite slot to The International 2018 is as good as theirs.
Team Liquid vs FlyToMoon
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) May 5, 2018
Match Schedule: May 6, 2018 (Sunday 13:00 MSK)
Who would’ve thought that FlyToMoon would make it all the way to the lower bracket finals? As a team that qualified via the Madness Qualifiers, FlyToMoon have defied all expectations just by securing a playoff appearance. That FlyToMoon did so while taking out the likes of OG and Virtus.Pro is something that can only be described as a miraculous run.
Now, the question is, can they continue defying expectations and take out the best Dota 2 team in the world?
Maybe, but don’t count on it. While it’s always nice to root for the underdogs, it’s foolish to count on lightning to strike at the same spot twice — yes, we’re giving Virtus.Pro the benefit of the doubt even though they got swept — and betting on FlyToMoon to take out two of the best Dota 2 teams in the world to complete an underdog run that’s arguably even more impressive than Ad Finem’s second-place finish at the Boston Major back in 2016 would be stretching it.
No offense to FlyToMoon. A third-place finish at a Major is nothing to scoff at, especially when you’re playing in front of the hometown crowd. At the very least, FlyToMoon can take consolation in the fact that it took Team Liquid to finally send them home packing.
Betting: Team Liquid to win at 1.41 odds (GGbet)
EPICENTER XL Grand Finals Prediction
Assuming that Team Liquid does indeed secure a rematch against PSG.LGD at the EPICENTER XL Grand Finals, we’ll be left with two Dota 2 teams who are looking to break their streaks.
For Team Liquid, a win here will give them their first Major (both Valve-run and Pro Circuit) ever. Meanwhile, for PSG.LGD, a win will not just give them their first Major, but their first Pro Circuit LAN after already previously finishing as runner-ups three times already.
Making a choice here will be tough. Regardless of what happens, Team Liquid will remain the best Dota 2 team right now. It’s just that they’re not playing as hungry as most people expected them to. Perhaps fatigue has finally caught on to them. And, with their direct invite to The International 2018 already secured, the team could subconsciously not be playing as hard as they should be.
Not only that, but it seems that PSG.LGD have finally figured out how to feel comfortable experimenting, which just doesn’t bode well for anyone they’re going up against going forward.
Having said that, our money’s on PSG.LGD taking this one and denying Team Liquid yet another shot at winning a Major trophy.