It was the third battle between the two juggernauts this year. The two teams previously matched up in the Arlington Major group stage as well as Riyadh Masters 2022, with PSG.LGD winning both previous matches.
The first two games of this third encounter were one-sided, with both teams trading a win. It all came down to a nail-biting third game which saw PSG.LGD make a massive comeback to bring down the Stockholm Major champions.
OG's plan to shut down Ame backfired in game three
The plan for the third game of the series was clear for OG, they wanted to give Wang "Ame" Chunyu as hard a time as possible.
To that end, the Stockholm Major champions opened their draft with a Viper for Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf and Marci for Tommy "Taige" Le, one of the strongest laning duos in Dota 2 right now.
PSG.LGD's answer to OG's opening picks was to go for a powerful dual lane of their own: an offlane Razor for Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida and Tiny for Zhao "XinQ" Zixing.
Both teams focused on securing their offlane duo in the first two picks. OG had the stronger early laning pair while PSG.LGD had better scaling for late-game.
The next round of picks saw Sébastien "Ceb" Debs pick Earthshaker in game three to provide control for the team.
So far Earthshaker hasn't impressed in this tournament, with a 40% win rate overall. Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov would be responsible for making space for his team with the mid Keeper of the Light.
The two teams mirrored each other in the second pick phase, focusing on locking down their hard support and midlaner.
For PSG.LGD, that meant taking Dazzle for Zhang "y`" Yiping, as OG lacked burst damage to bring people down instantly in fights. Their midlaner, Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang, played Pangolier for the second time in the series.
Both teams saved their carry pick for last and OG had to pick first, taking Morphling for Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev.
PSG.LGD went for a more standard carry, with Alchemist for Ame. The Alchemist was brilliant for the Chinese squad, as it allowed Ame to still make a comeback if he had a tough laning stage.
It was an impressive showing for OG in the laning stage, as they managed to bring down Ame and Faith_bian three times each.
Ame is one of the best players in Dota 2 right now and OG knew that, regularly sending bzm to the bottom lane to bring him down.
Even with an Alchemist, PSG.LGD's carry suffered, having the lowest networth among the cores at the end of the laning stage. OG's plan to bring down Ame worked and they leveraged their strong mid game timing to take control of the game.
While Ame tried to recover in the mid-game, the other four members of the team did their best to mitigate the damage of the laning stage.
Both teams traded a couple of support kills until OG decided to go for a 17-minute Roshan. With an Aegis in hand, OG dealt PSG.LGD a devastating team fight that brought everyone except Ame down.
OG used the next 10 minutes to extend their networth advantage and didn't attempt a high ground push until they had the second Aegis in the hands of Yuragi.
It was a dire situation for the Chinese squad until both their supports stepped up.
XinQ managed to land two incredible Tosses that brought down ATF, while y` hexed Yuragi as he was morphing agility, making him incredibly fragile. PSG.LGD lost a barracks but regained their footing in the game.
OG lost their momentum after the fight at the bottom barracks and couldn't control the map afterward.
PSG.LGD slowly caught up with them until the difference in networth was only a 4,000 gold advantage for OG.
The game was even 33-minutes in, and unfortunately for OG, they tried to get a pick-off on Ame while his entire team was behind him.
Thanks to the amazing use of Shallow Grave by y`, Ame survived and PSG.LGD secured a teamwipe while losing nothing.
It took PSG.LGD another 15 minutes to seal the deal, as OG fought for dear life but simply lacked the lineup necessary to win the late game.
PSG.LGD now move on to the upper bracket finals against Team Spirit while OG will play against either Beastcoast or Outsiders in a do-or-die series.
In the post game interview, y` was asked how they managed to make a comeback in game three and said it all came down to their impressive high-ground defence.
"For the whole of game three, we were trying to find some kills, but they were very well defended. I think we were prepared for the high-ground fights, especially at the bottom barracks," said y`.
The PGL Arlington Major will take place from 4 to 14 August and features 17 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world fighting for their slice of the US$500,000 prize pool and 4,570 DPC point pool.
For everything you need to know about the Arlington Major, check here.
PSG.LGD Dota 2 roster:
Wang "Ame" Chunyu
Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang
Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida
Zhao "XinQ" Zixing
Zhang "y`" Yiping
OG roster for Arlington Major:
Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev
Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov
Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf
Tommy "Taige" Le
Sébastien "Ceb" Debs (stand-in)
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.