European Dota 2 side OG have been crowned champions of The International 2018 after defeating Chinese side PSG.LGD in a best of five grand final.
The team take home an $11.2m split of the $22.5m prize pool, which is the biggest prize that an esports tournament has ever offered. The prize topped the record set by The International 2017 by approximately $800,000.
PSG.LGD walk away with a $4m split for their efforts after pushing OG right to the end. That’s not a bad runners-up prize by any stretch. However, given their incredible displays this season, anything less than a victory will have disappointed the Chinese side.
OG, on the other hand, beat the odds to walk away victors. The organisation has had a turbulent run up to the tournament. Three of its five champions have only been part of the team for a few months.
The team had to fight for a place at the tournament via the open qualifiers. Likewise, there performance in the group stage wasn’t always convincing. The organisation just made it into the upper bracket with a record of nine wins and seven defeats.
And yet, nothing can be taken away from the side’s victory in Vancouver, Canada. They produced victories over VGJ.Storm, who had earlier topped Group B, and Group A’s runner-ups Evil Geniuses, to claim a place in the final.
OG vs PSG.LGD probably wasn’t the tie that Dota 2 fans were expecting heading into The International 2018. And yet, both sides gave it their all and gave the fans an exciting and fast-paced final.
OG vs PSG.LGD: As it happened
Despite their underdog status, OG started the tie strongly, making use of Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs Treant Protector Meteor Hammer pushes, backed up by the incredible support offered by Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, to leave their opponents with no option but to concede defeat after 34 minutes.
However, that was the push that PSG.LGD needed to get their heads in the game. The Chinese side found a way to counter OG’s gameplan in Game 2.
Lu “Maybe” Kao played Kunkka, and was able to halt OG wil X Marks the Spot. OG were underrun in the mid-lane, where Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen suffered 12 deaths. The tie eventually went to 1-1.
By this point PSG.LGD had found their rhythm and went into game three as the stronger side. They had an answer to all of OG’s plays and were able to easily contain the eventual champions. The tie went to 2-1 and the majority of the Vancouver crowd undoubtedly though that game four would crown their winner.
However, OG wouldn’t relent in what was the closest game in the tie. 7ckingMad’s Berserkers Call was cancelled out by PSG.LGD’s Xu “fy” Linsen, who used Tusk’s Snowball ability to keep his team safe for much of it. Yet, OG continued to push and eventually found a way through to take The International to a game five for the first time in five years. OG had Anathan “ana” Pham and his incredible Ember Spirit play to thank.
PSG.LGD seemed to have made the better picks heading into the final game, and they proved as much during the early stages, running amok down the midlane and dominating OG across the map. And yet, as OG had shown throughout The International 2018, they weren’t a team to give up without a fight.
LGD were unable to find the final blow and a patient OG side eventually found their opportunity to win it.
It was a victory that few saw coming and, judging by their stunned reactions, even the OG camp doubted that the incredible feat that they have pulled off was possible.