Three ways to beat PSG.LGD at the Arlington Major 2022

PSG.LGD are world-class Dota 2 powerhouse, multi-time runner-up in the Internationals Championship, and certainly the most highly rated team in Arlington Major 2022. Considering the stacked list of accomplishments in their book, even TI Champions (OG) would respect LGD as a formidable opponent.

Going into the late stages at the Major, we have to analyze their style of play, and ways to dismantle this roster on the map.


Calling the big guns

On paper, PSG.LGD does have their lowlights, notably when they barely qualified for Arlington Major as 4th in their domestic DPC season. Several notable opponents they lost to, include Xtreme Gaming, EHOME, and Vici Gaming, which for the uninitiated, aren’t playing in Arlington. Many fans defended this poor performance by justifying that LGD is giving way to other Chinese candidates to secure DPC points. After all, PSG.LGD already secured sufficient points to secure a direct invite to TI11. Well, at least that’s how the rumors spread by loyal fans are on the streets.

LGD does have a curse on them when it comes to big stage performance. Team Spirit at TI10 and OG in the TI8 grand finals created a pattern for the team to always stay at glory’s doorstep. Loyal fans would beg to differ that these opponents that once posed a threat to LGD are just a former husk of their glory. Team Spirit, despite being defending champions, struggled to maintain their composure as a Wildcard candidate that is impossible to counter.

Tactics to beat PSG.LGD

With such an inconclusive verdict based on PSG.LGD’s track record, it’s time we get technical. What comps, hero picks and strategies could give PSG.LGD a run for their money. OG are their next opponent, and we know they have their moments, especially after their Stockholm Major 2022 victory. They were already dismantled once in the group stage, and they need to do better to rival the latter.

Banning LGD players’ signatures

LGD has an ocean of potential picks and comps to create. This means banning out a specific composition simply wont do. At best, we can hope singular Heroes that re-define team’s performance need to be taken care of.

Think of Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang’s Tinker, that he can play elusively while providing massive damage output. Perhaps what catches opponents off-guard with the Tinker pick is his Rearm + Blink combo, which makes him impossible to catch. The stunt, which may seem overpowered, requires swift reaction time and hotkey queuing to pull off.

It serves as one of PSG.LGD’s wildcard picks, so we don’t see it often because this diverges the attention off NothingToSay’s playstyle, and he won’t be heavily prioritized for bans. Now, good teams have the privilege to ban another opponent’s signature picks because they have a plan against the typical meta picks. This sets the expectations for teams that are hoping to beat LGD, as the latter’s last resort to having all meta heroes banned is signatures. Absolutely game-winning signatures that are.

Break from meta picks at Arlington Major

Like many teams, PSG.LGD certainly will leverage on the current meta’s best heroes. Juggernaut, Chaos Knight and Void Spirit are among the three most powerful Dota carries for their high impact going into midgame. Void Spirit particularly is a monstrous mid-pick, which can demolish any backline heroes hoping to stay safe.

A decent counter would be a defensive one, picking up BKB or invulnerability to silence/stuns. A carry Silencer is a reliable option since he can stand up against Void’s combo of skills. And if it’s a matter of longevity, a well-farmed Silencer can easily fair up against Void.

Juggernaut and Chaos Knight are often picked as sustainable carry heroes and scale well into the late game. They have heavy counters, such as Winter Wyvern or Specter respectively. However, what makes the two carry picks effective is the hero combos that go well with them. We saw Winter Wyvern being picked alongside Juggernaut before, or Chaos Knight with Chen to subside their flaws.

Yet, perhaps the hero that must be banned at all costs is Dawnbreaker. Her skill set lets her initiate and chain-stun multiple targets, while still having the durability of her ultimate to ensure her tea survives. Since Dawnbreaker is a relatively new addition to Captain’s Mode, most teams just resort to banning it altogether.

Fighting LGD with late game drafts

LGD’s strategies often scale well into the late game, which contradicts what many opponents at Arlington Major had in mind. We saw both OG, Evil Geniuses, and more, play around midgame timing and overwhelm their opponents with their snowballing strats.

However, such strategies prove to be obsolete against prominent teams, which can outlast the match. LGD often have tricks up its sleeve, namely NothingToSay, the mid-player with an elusive hero to make space. Prolonging the match just long enough for their hard carry player, Wang “Ame” Chunyu. That’s a worst-case scenario we are describing for PSG.LGD, which means in most matches, they are still the ones controlling midgame.

Instead of playing differently, a candidate can expect to pay late game, which is LGD’s playing field. However, make good use of team fights and plays because that’s the x-factor to LGD’s calculated strategies. LGD can struggle to play at their pace when there’s a varying factor they did not account for, their opponent’s unique playstyle.

TLDR on ways to beat PSG.LGD:

  1. Don’t ban perceived strategies and compositions, ban individual Hero picks.
  2. Don’t play meta if you can cheese.
  3. Go for late game and beat them at their own game.

More often than not, we see underdogs discount themselves in the face of overwhelming opponents, which they felt no chance of defeating. Not unless they play along with the generic high-success meta. If we have to give a selection of notable candidates that could potentially snatch a series off PSG.LGD, it’s likely beastcoast, Entity, or their regional rivals, Aster and RNG.