In a gripping series that came down to the wire, OG came back from a 1-2 game deficit to become TI8’s champions. They’ll take home a cool $11.2 million, the largest prize in esports history.
Grand Finals OG vs. PSG.LGD
It wasn’t the first time the team faced elimination and came back to win it all, but this time OG had to win 2 in a row to climb back from a 1-2 hole. They kicked off to a 1-0 start with an unorthodox Treant pick, which stalled the game just enough for Ana’s Spectre to come online.
PSG.LGD counter punched with a strong showing, winning the next two games. It appeared as if they had figured OG out. They outright banned Spectre and chose favorable lane matchups to either hamstring Topson or Ana. Maybe’s Kunkka dominated the early lane matchup against Topson’s Invoker, and he snowballed from there. And in the game after, Ana’s Phantom Lancer never got the chance to come online. PSG.LGD’s Brewmaster, played by Chalice, created so much space that even a PL wouldn’t be able to outcarry their Alchemist and Weaver. Ame’s Weaver finished the game with a 21/3/15 KDA.
PSG.LGD secures a 2-1 lead with a strong teamfight lineup that never let up the pressure
With such a resounding victory by PSG.LGD, it was surprising to see OG come back in game 4 with the same heroes they had just lost with. OG again went back to Ana’s Phantom Lancer, Topson’s Invoker, and N0tail’s Chen. All three picks had been largely ineffective in the previous games, but the move showed confidence in their plan. This time around, they were sure to ban LGD’s Alchemist, Weaver, and Kunnka. Then, they last picked Axe.
With OG down two towers and slowly losing space on the map for Ana’s PL to farm, it came down to Ceb to stop the potential downward spiral. We’ve seen it happen before with LGD’s opponents, where they leverage an early game advantage to just complete dominance for the rest of the game. Ceb’s triple kill, on two of LGD’s cores, was pivotal in keeping OG’s TI8 hopes alive.
In one of ana’s many top plays of the tournament, he sells two items and grabs the bounty rune to get just enough money for a game winning buyback
Down two lanes, N0tail sacrifices his Chen to buy a few precious seconds of backdoor protection. It’s enough for OG to catch a few heroes on the retreat.
PSG.LGD missed their window to close out the game and they had no solid answer for Ana’s Phantom Lancer. Brewmaster’s Dispel is adequate, but not against PL’s 25 Talent that puts it on a 3 second cooldown. Ceb seals the game with a Beserker’s Call that gets ODPixel to flex his diaphragm as he screams the winning play.
Ceb’s Axe performance this game silences any surviving critics
For game 5, PSG.LGD banned PL and the rest of OG’s comfort heroes. And OG returned by picking heroes that no one else plays in the meta. Both teams would live or die on their signature heroes: Ana on Ember, Topson on Zeus, Jerax on Rubick. Maybe was back on his Kunkka and Fy got his Earthshaker.
Fy’s rotations opened up the early game for LGD. They were up 7-1 in kills, then 13-3, then 22-6. Fy, as a support, completed his Arcane+Blink before Ceb’s offlane Magnus.
PSG.LGD dominates the early game
LGD found pickoffs on ana and Topson and hamstrung OG’s early game development. LGD also still had their mid T1, giving them forward positioning for the next Roshan fight. But in such a tight game between the top two teams in the tournament, no advantage is safe. Again, it was an ana buyback that turned the game.
Ana showing why Ember is a meta pick if he plays the hero
Ana follows up his triple kill here with another one just two minutes later. With the Aegis, and all of LGD’s cooldowns blown, OG kept pressing their advantage. It led to this closing fight, highlighted by Ana’s Eul Scepter’s dodge of an Echo Slam. Call it luck, premonition, or just sheer skill—after his performance this tournament, ana deserves the credit.
Ana dodges a Blink Echo with Eul’s Scepter
OG were projected, by both fans and pros, to finish in the middle of the pack. They weren’t supposed to win. Ana took a break from Dota for a year. Inexperienced in the spotlight of LANs, Topson had only played professional Dota for one year. Ceb’s last LAN appearance was three years ago. And this team was cobbled together in the aftermath of two of their central players leaving the team.
With doubts casted on the skill and mettle of OG’s players, it was this team that ended up becoming the TI8 champions. Down 1-2, facing elimination two games in a row, OG pulled off the impossible. They took down their regional rivals and beat the top Chinese team, twice. No one will ever doubt them again.