A few weeks back, French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain clinched their fifth French League title in the past six seasons. Heavy investment on and off the pitch — including the record-breaking signing of Brazilian superstar Neymar last summer — ensured the French side claimed a relatively easy win in their domestic competition.
However, PSG have not just been busy on the sports field. In 2016, the club also branched out into esports, setting up Paris Saint-Germain eSports department.
PSG’s esports moves
They began by acquiring Team Huma’s slot in the European League of Legends Challenger Series (EU CS). PSG then oversaw the recruitment of two FIFA stars: August “Agge” Rosenmeier and Lucas “DaXe” Cuillerier. The latter became the ESWC Fifa 17 World Champion, thus earning PSG’s first esports title.
Since then, PSG eSports have acquired the roster of the Frontline team to compete in Rocket League. Most recently, in April, PSG eSports entered a partnership with Chinese team LGD Gaming to compete in major Dota 2 tournaments.
And this week, the newly named PSG.LGD claimed their first crown at the massive Dota Pro Circuit event EPICENTER XL.
What happened at EPICENTER XL
The EPICENTER XL tournament at the Ice Palace in Moscow marked this team’s first real test. PSG.LGD faced some very talented teams in this event, including five that previously occupied the top five sports in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings — Virtus.pro, Team Secret, Team Liquid, Newbee, and Mineski.
Prior to the competition, the draw saw PSG.LGD head into Group A alongside Team Liquid, FlyToMoon, Mineski, Team Empire, and compLexity Gaming.
Group A results
PSG.LGD got off to a good start on the opening day with a 2-1 victory over Mineski. However, Team Liquid then dented their hopes inflicting a 2-1 defeat.
After that setback however, PSG.LGD found top form. They defeated Team Empire 2-1 and then FlyToMoon and compLexity Gaming in 2-0 sweeps. Thus, the new team clinched second in the group behind Team Liquid and an Upper Bracket seeding. FlyToMoon and Mineski earned the two Lower Bracket seedings.
Group B results
If Group A was relatively straightforward, Group B was anything but. It saw one of the closest qualification groups in esports history. In the end, Team Secret, paiN Gaming, Newbee, and Natus Vincere all finished with 2-3 records.
It was the Team Secret and paiN Gaming that earned the Lower Bracket spots thanks to slightly better leg differences than the other teams. Group winners Virtus.pro (4-1) and second seed OG (3-2) joined them, heading into the Upper Bracket in the Main Event.
Main Event results
The main event saw one team qualify for the Grand Final from the Upper Bracket and one from the Lower Bracket. Losing Upper Bracket teams dropped into the Lower Bracket for a second chance of reaching the final.
In that bottom bracket, Team Liquid claimed the final spot. They defeated FlyToMoon in the Lower Bracket Final, having lost in the Upper Bracket Final to PSG.LGD. The eventual winners came through the top section after beating the much-fancied Virtus.pro 2-1 in their opening match and then gained revenge on Team Liquid for their Group Stage defeat with a 2-0 win in the final.
The Grand Final
Unlike the other games in EPICENTER XL, which were all best-of-three encounters, the Grand Final was a best-of-five game. The best two teams in the tournament faced off for the third time.
Team Liquid had defeated PSG.LGD in the Group Stage, but that was avenged in the Upper Bracket Final with PSG.LGD taking the win. Who would win the decider?
In the end, PSG.LGD came out on top, taking the opening map before Team Liquid struck back to level the game at 1-1. However, PSG.LGD took both the next two games to claim a 3-1 win and the 750 Dota Pro Circuit points, plus $500,000 cash.
Dota Pro Circuit
That win for PSG.LGD heavily impacted the standings for the top eight of the Dota Pro Circuit. PSG.LGD moves into the top four, giving them an excellent chance of qualifying for The International 2018.
- Virtus Pro – 8,097
- Team Liquid – 6,084
- Team Secret – 4,710
- LGD – 4,071
- Mineski – 3,150
- Newbee – 2,220
- Vici Gaming – 2,160
- VGJ Thunder – 1,935
- Evil Geniuses – 1,335
- Natus Vincere – 1,199
- Fnatic – 950
- FlyToMoon – 675
- OG – 630
- TCN Pro Team – 495
- OpTic Gaming – 450
- LGD Forever Young – 199
There are now just four more tournaments remaining this season. The next is the GESC Thailand Dota 2 Minor (300 DPC points, $300,000 prize pool), which starts in Bangkok on May 9.
The three events after that are all Major events. The final one is the Supermajor, which has the greatest number of DPC points available.
The MDL Changsha Major takes place in China from May 14 to May 20. Three days later, the ESL One Birmingham 2018 takes place in the UK. Both these events have 1,500 Dota Pro Circuit points up for grabs.
Then, the China Dota 2 Supermajor takes place in Shanghai, with 16 teams, a $1,500,000 prize pool, and a massive 2,250 DPC points on offer.
PSG.LGD have qualified for both the DPC events taking place in China. This means they could still yet add to what has already been a fantastically successful start for the new Dota 2 franchise.