Invictus Gaming (IG) defeated fellow Chinese team PSG.LGD in the lower bracket finals of the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major and will now face North American team Evil Geniuses (EG) in the grand finals later on Sunday (4 April).
IG were fresh off an excellent showing in the penultimate day of the tournament, where they took down dark horse South American team Thunder Predator and tournament favourites Team Secret. IG will now look to get their revenge on EG, who dominated them in their previous meeting in the second round of the upper bracket, in one last battle for the Singapore Major championship.
The champions of the Singapore Major will take home the grand prize of US$200,000 and 500 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) DPC points. Meanwhile, the runners-up will walk away with US$100,00 and 450 DPC points.
With their defeat, PSG.LGD bow out of the tournament in third place. While it surely falls short of their ultimate goal, it is still an excellent showing from a team that had to start the Major all the way from the Wildcard Stage.
PSG.LGD's run saw them defeat top CIS team Virtus.pro and upset Secret before falling to EG in the upper bracket finals. They bow out of the tournament with US$75,000 and 400 DPC points in consolation.
Here's a recap of the lower bracket finals:
Both teams started the series with some of their comfort heroes. IG had Jin "flyfly" Zhiyi on Morphling, Zhou "Emo" Yi on a mid Mirana, Thiay "JT-" Jun Wen on Mars, Hu "kaka" Liangzhi on Lion, and Chan "Oli~" Chon Kien on Ancient Apparition.
Meanwhile, PSG.LGD put Wang "Ame" Chunyu on Monkey King, Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang on Death Prophet, Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida on Sand King, Zhao "XinQ" Zixing on Shadow Shaman, and Zhang "y`" Yiping on Phoenix.
IG controlled the laning phase and were able to heavily pressure Ame's Monkey King, going up 6,000 gold alongside a 12-5 kill lead just before the 20-minute mark. PSG.LGD struggled to find pickoffs as well, with Emo's Mirana even escaping a three-man gank at the mid lane all while his teammates were taking down Ame.
While PSG.LGD were able to whittle away at their opponents' lead by punishing some of their over-extensions, IG utterly dominated them in the straight-up team fights and took over much of the map. Despite PSG.LGD's attempts to mount a defence, IG were able to catch them out and eventually force the GG call after 44 minutes.
Flyfly had a strong start to the series, notching 12 kills and 9 assists against just one death to pace IG's 36-21 kill lead at the end of the game.
PSG.LGD looked to bounce back in game two with an offlane Alchemist strategy, with Faith_bian given control of the hero and tasked with empowering Ame's Troll Warlord. Flanking them were NothingToSay on a mid Mars, XinQ on Shadow Shaman again, and y` on Elder Titan.
Meanwhile, IG ran with a line-up with a lot of damage and mobility, with flyfly on Juggernaut, Emo on Puck, JT on Nature's Prophet, kaka on Tusk, and Oli on a support Gyrocopter.
PSG.LGD dominated the laning phase, going up by 5,000 gold and 9-5 in kills by 16 minutes. Faith_bian was notably left free to farm up an Aghanim's Scepter to give away to Ame, who was also left unchecked. With their Troll Warlord empowered and nigh-unstoppable, PSG.LGD simply ran IG over to tie up the series after 32 minutes.
Ame bounced back from a rough showing in game one with a clean performance in game two, finishing with 11 kills and four assists against zero deaths.
With a spot in the grand finals on the line, IG picked Phantom Lancer for flyfly, the same carry pick that allowed them to defeat Secret in the lower bracket semi-finals. Flanking flyfly were Emo's Puck, JT's Timbersaw, kaka's Lion, and Oli's Ancient Apparition.
Meanwhile, PSG.LGD gave Troll Warlord to Ame again and Shadow Shaman to XinQ for the third-straight game, with NothingToSay was on Windranger, Faith_bian on an offlane Viper, and y` on Clockwerk.
PSG.LGD were in control after the laning phase, as their heroes had an easier time finding pickoffs on an IG lineup that still had not yet come online. However, IG was able to equalize things once flyfly's Phantom Lancer was able to join fights in the mid game.
The game devolved into a slog from there, as they were content to continue farming and get the occasional pickoff. IG were then able to break the game wide open at the 44-minute mark, as they took advantage of some sloppy play from PSG.LGD to score huge kills, claim the Aegis of the Immortal, and breach their opponents' base.
Despite a huge deficit, PSG.LGD were still able to mount a valiant defence and draw the game out to almost an hour. While both teams were busy clashing by the Dire bottom barracks — with PSG.LGD somehow being able to repel their opponents — IG's creeps were able to sneak in and destroy the Dire Ancient and end the game.
NothingToSay finished the series admirably despite PSG.LGD's loss, going for a series-high 16 kills and 13 assists against just three deaths on his Windranger. Meanwhile, Emo's Puck led the way for IG with 15 kills and 25 assists against three deaths as well.
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