Despite roster remix, LGD still reigns in China

By Kenneth WilliamsNovember 18, 2020
PSG.LGD played an odd role in the recent roster shuffle. Despite being the de facto best team in China, their entire roster was split up after Xu “fy” Linsen and Lu "Somnus" Yao left to form Elephant. LGD then adopted EHOME’s old squad along with Wang "Ame" Chunyu for position 1.
Initial evaluations of the roster were middling, but LGD remain the reigning kings of Chinese Dota. Their debut at CDA-FDC Professional Championship S1 was a rousing success, and they’re continuing to perform well. While their rivalry with Vici Gaming hasn’t died down with the shuffle, their victories so far have them resembling the LGD of TIs past.

EHOME + Ame = PSG.LGD?

EHOME was a polarizing team throughout 2020. They started out consistent, with several bronze finishes. From May to July, EHOME became much more explosive. They placed well outside the podium at Dota PIT S2 and ESL One: Birmingham, but also nailed a pair of championships at DPL-CDA Pro League Seasons 1 and 2. The stack was often overshadowed by heavy hitters Vici and LGD.
As for Ame, China’s safe lane prince has a very complicated history with the LGD banner. His big break came from their 2016 rebranding, where he was recruited from CDEC’s development program. He helped LGD achieve consecutive podium finishes at The International 8 and 9, earning more than $7,000,000. He was traded back to CDEC at the beginning of this year for Lai "Ahjit" Jay Son, who lasted five days in the mid lane before being benched.
The previous EHOME stack was used to playing around Liu "Sylar" Jiajun, a carry best known for playing position 2 from the safe lane. Despite the carry switch, the new LGD plays very similarly to the old EHOME. They’ve maintained their signature offlane pressure with plenty of Slardar and Beastmaster drafts, and mid laner Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang continues to opt for playmakers like Lina and Zeus.
As for Ame, the current carry meta of Phantom Assassin and Morphling suit his style perfectly. While he doesn’t get Anti-Mage often, he’s still solidly the best AM in China. His one outing put LGD at match point in CDA-FDC Pro League’s grand final. Ame maintained an absurd 986 GPM across 55 minutes from a 12-minute Battle Fury.

China’s refreshed rivalry

Speaking of their run at CDA-FDC Professional Championship, PSG.LGD didn’t drop a single match until their grand finals against Elephant. The 3:2 series kicked off their inevitable rivalry, but the distance has grown over the past week. LGD is currently undefeated at CDA-FDC S2 and up 3:1 at CD2 Pro Cup S2. As for Elephant, they’re back to losing against Royal Never Give Up.
Vici Gaming is the only team to take a series off LGD so far. A razor-thin 2:1 series came down to an hour-long slog against the ever-eclectic Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang’s midlane Snapfire. It's worth noting that game two featured Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang’s mid Jakiro. Even after a massive shuffle, Vici and LGD are still dueling each other for flagship status. At least they’re having fun with it.
Watch Elephant and LGD’s rematch at China Dota2 Pro Cup S2 on November 21 at 03:00 CT.
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