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PSG.LGD have secured themselves at least a second-place finish at The International 10. They are more than likely to secure their first International trophy in a few hours. To newer DOTA 2 fans, it may seem like PSG.LGD has only had a dominant period that stretched the last three years. However, the LGD organization is one of the longest-standing brands in the entire esport. In order to tell the story of the potential International 10 winners, it is important to rewind to see how they came so close so many times and how this run was 10 years in the making.

2012 – 13 LGD enters The International for the first time

LGD Gaming 2012
LGD Gaming’s first foray into DOTA 2 with xiao8 at the helm. | Provided by Valve

At this point in time, the PSG.LGD name had not even existed yet. LGD was a food production company in China that made its foray into the DOTA 2 scene right before The International 2. The team was led by Zhang “xiao8” Ning, who at that point was already a well-known captain in the Chinese scene. He was followed along by some pillars of the old Chinese DOTA 2 scene – namely, Liu “Sylar” Jiajun. For those unfamiliar, Sylar represents the typical “old Chinese carry” a farm-centric play style that focused on safety and consistency. Along with Invictus Gaming and EHOME, they represented the old guard of Chinese DOTA and were viewed as some of the strongest teams in the world.

Their International 2 run was cut short by a Na’Vi team that made an amazing upper bracket run, sending LGD to the lower bracket. They were eliminated by the eventual champions, Invictus Gaming, ending their first-ever International run at a respectable third. Their International 3 run was cut short in the lower bracket by Team Liquid, who came out of nowhere to shock the crowd with their win. LGD went out at 9-12th, their lowest placing yet. This set of events would cause xiao8 to eventually leave the team, starting a rebuild for LGD.

2014-2016 – The old guard replaced

LGD 2015
Maybe on the far left, a player with so much potential back then, has now fulfilled his early hype. | Provided by Dota Blast

2014 LGD was a shell of its former self without xiao8 at the helm. They added two new players in Wang “Rabbit” Zhang and Xu “Lin” Ziyang, but did not impress at The International 4. They were eliminated by the powerhouse Team DK at the event. The loss in 2014 signaled a massive change in LGD. They not only reworked their main team but created a sister team in LGD.CDEC, who would make a massive splash in The International 5. Not only did LGD make top three at the International 5, but so did LGD.CDEC. The sister teams both had to fight Evil Geniuses, in the upper and lower bracket, before LGD.CDEC eventually fell to Evil Geniuses in the grand final. 2016 was when the changing of the guard began. LGD added Lu “Maybe” Yao, who in the next few years would become one of the best mid laners in the world.

While they were eliminated in the main event of the tournament in 2016, by tournament runner up Digital Chaos, LGD’s future was set with Maybe at the helm. Since their first International in 2012, LGD has yet to miss the tournament up to this point. Their lowest placing was 9th-12th, which means they have always made it into the main event.

2017 -2021 PSG and the modern LGD era

LGD from True Sight
Maybe has grown into the player he was meant to be at The International 8. | Provided by DOTA2ti on Twitter

In 2017, LGD gain another piece of their puzzle in Wang “Ame” Chunyu. An up-and-coming carry player at the time, Ame is now one of the best carry player in the world. In 2018, soccer team Paris St. Germain collaborated with the Chinese organization to form PSG.LGD. With this new investment, they proceed to build one of DOTA’s super teams centered around Xu “fy” Linsen and Yang “Chalice” Shenyi. The team looked unstoppable coming into The International 8 and 9 but were defeated by OG at The International 8, and eliminated by Team Liquid at The International 9. Every time PSG.LGD feels favored to win it all, something gets in the way. This year, they come in once again as the favorites.