LGD Gaming looking to ride storm of momentum to deep run in Seattle
With this year’s iteration of The International fast approaching, it seems appropriate to offer fans both new and old a breakdown of who it is they’re going to be watching in Seattle. This series of posts will each be dedicated to one of the 18 teams that will be participating in The International 2017, with the aim of giving readers a brief overview of the teams, their position coming into TI, and what their expectations might be. Please note that these posts will not contain a comprehensive history of the teams, nor will they go into minute detail for each of the players. There are more thorough breakdowns for teams and players available out there, a la SirActionSlacks’ “TI Down Low” series. These posts aim to provide something more akin to an “in a nutshell” level of information. We turn now to the last of our Chinese teams at TI and the third place team in the Chinese Qualifier – LGD Gaming
LGD Gaming is the other team at TI7 playing for the LGD organization, and its a team that has been making some waves recently within the Dota 2 scene. To go along with what feels like a recurring theme for TI teams, LGD Gaming owes some if this success to having made some recent roster changes. The squad moved support player “Yao” from LGD.FY to LGD Gaming in January, and added offlaner “eLeVeN” in March. Both are players with experience both in China and internationally, and serve as veteran presences to anchor a lineup headlined by young stars “Ame” and “Maybe”. This new roster has seen some successes, though there are some concerns regarding the diversity of the team’s opponents.
Up until the last few months, LGD Gaming had been suffering from a small issue that was hurting its potential as TI approached. Since the finalization of the lineup in March, the team has played the vast majority of its matches within the Chinese region. LGD Gaming’s current roster has participated in 10 events, both tournaments and qualifiers. Eight of those events have been Chinese qualifiers or Chinese exclusive tournaments and leagues. LGD Gaming has only attended 2 events with non-Chinese teams involved: Dota Summit 7 and the Mars Dota 2 League 2017. The silver lining for LGD Gaming is that its performance in these events has been spectacular. The team’s consistently strong results in China combined with impressive performances against international opponents leave LGD sitting in a nice position.
Coming into TI7, LGD Gaming appears to have a sense of hopeful optimism to go along with some moderately high expectation for itself. The team has looked strong against its Chinese constituents, so LGD should have some degree of confidence against its regional rivals. Though the team has played in just two events that included non-Chinese teams, LGD proved to be capable of taking on and even beating those top level opponents. Though the sample size may be small, LGD have already seen proof of its ability to contend with some of the best teams in the world. While LGD Gaming is not quite within the realm of favorites to win TI, it can certainly make a deep run and threaten many of the teams expecting to have a shot at the Aegis of Champions.
LGD’s recent results tell a story of strong local results mixed with solid international appearances. The team finished in 2nd place in the Top Division of the Dota 2 Professional League Season 3, followed by 2nd place results in 3 tournament qualifiers: EPICENTER 2017, MDL 2017, and Dota Summit 7. LGD Gaming managed to win another Chinese qualifier, which earned the team a spot at the Galaxy Battles LAN. However, scheduling conflicts prevented the team from actually attending that event. The final Chinese qualifier for LGD Gaming was the TI7 qualifiers that earned the team its spot in Seattle. As for its performance at international events, LGD’s record is even strong. The Chinese squad placed 3rd at Dota Summit 7, beating Team NP(now Cloud 9) and Virtus.Pro before losing back to back series against Team Secret and VP. At the Mars Dota 2 League 2017, LGD had its moment of triumph, winning the event and earning its first tournament win in nearly a year. The team posted a 4-3 group record, then went on to defeat OG before losing its next series to LGD.FY. However, the team was able to show its resolve following this loss, coming back to beat Newbee to force a rematch against LGD.FY in the grand finals that ultimately resulted in a win for LGD. This high profile win placed LGD in the limelight of the Dota 2 world, just in time for TI.
LGD had remained quiet in the Dota 2 world for a large part of the year. However, the recent roster changes from the squad have jumpstarted an impressive drive to the top of both the Chinese region and the world stage. LGD has found success against both Chinese and international opponents, and raised itself up into a potential contender for the Aegis of Champions. LGD’s rise to prominence in the world of Dota 2 has come swiftly and perhaps unexpectedly this year, as the team is riding a whirlwind of success and strong play. We will have to see if the competition in Seattle is capable of weathering the storm, or if it’ll be swept away by LGD.