With The International 2019 behind us, we’ve moved into a rather interesting post TI roster shuffle period with many massive teams announcing lineup changes – while others confirm short breaks for their players. One of these teams, PSG.LGD have already assured everyone that their roster will remain the same, but that due to some personal issues, they will be skipping the first Major of the new Dota 2 Pro Circuit season.
Pan ‘Fei’ Fei, General Manager of PSG.LGD , has released a video on the squad’s Weibo account, answering some questions which have been asked of the team and shedding some light on what the post TI9 feelings are for the Chinese squad.
Thanks to Yuhui Zhu for the translation.
Will LGD make any further roster moves?
After TI concluded, we had some sort of mental turbulence. Lu ‘Maybe’ Yao wanted to take a long break. On top of that, Xu ‘fy’ Linsen also needed 3 months to recover from his eye surgery. The reason we had not confirmed our roster until now is because we were negotiating the renewal of contracts with the players. After a thorough discussion, all of us feel that our current roster is promising and we all want to achieve better results next year.
As such, we will not make any further roster moves.
Why did you decide to skip the first Major? Last year Maybe took a break for his wedding in the middle of the season and LGD still attended the next Major with a stand-in.
Maybe wants to take a proper break, and as mentioned before, fy has his surgery. We feel attending the Major with two stand-in players is pretty unfair to the rest of the team as well as the stand-in players. When we had our internal discussion, the players all agreed that they wanted to attend the Majors but play together – thus it became an easy decision to skip the first Major and come back stronger together.
What do you think are the existing issues inside the team?
Firstly, I feel everyone has put too much mental pressure on themselves. The team are very eager to prove themselves and as a result, sometimes they would rush things in the game, even though the optimal choice would be slowing down the tempo and putting pressure on the map.
Secondly, we didn’t manage to pivot our drafting theory in time. Teams like Liquid and OG prefer lineups that peak at the 20-minute mark while the power spike of our drafts is around the 30 or 40-minute mark. As such, if we couldn’t withstand their aggression at around 20 minutes, we would lose right then. That’s something we need to work on in the future.
We also want to experiment with more diverse strategies in the future – we just were not prepared this time.
How do you feel about the results of LGD this year?
We are not satisfied with the results, of course. I think both the community and team have the consensus that anything else other than winning TI is not enough. Even if we won 5 Majors this year, it still wouldn’t mean much to us if we don’t win TI, because the Aegis of Champions is the one thing that constantly keeps us motivated every year.
Many people are saying that the overall skill level of Chinese Dota is going downhill, what’s your take on this?
I think it’s true. The overall skill level of Chinese teams is no longer as competitive as it used to be. A very big reason for that is the loss of active players as well as the insufficiency of new blood. Veterans like YYF, LongDD, xiao8 and Yao have either retired or transferred to a coaching role. These are players who are in the same category as Kuroky and Puppey.
Their retirement leads to a severe lack of in-game leaders and team leaders in Chinese Dota. On top of that, we are getting fewer and fewer new players into the scene. The environment of the tier 2-3 scene is terrible which makes it extremely difficult for us to cultivate new players.
Now that QQQ has left the team, who will be the new coach for PSG.LGD?
We reached out to Heen, former coach of TNC, but he declined firmly. His concern lies on the language barrier as he thinks a good coach should always keep close communication with players. We are not sure whether Yao will keep working with us as the coach and we are also actively trying to get Xiao8.
What is the current atmosphere and morale inside the team?
I think the atmosphere inside our team has always been pretty good, we get along well with each other. I think now is the toughest period for us as everyone is feeling a bit powerless and desperate. I had a long conversation with Maybe on the night we lost, both of us feel our issue is never the roster. We did try experimenting with different playstyles and strategies during the bootcamp but we still ended in a disappointing third, for us. But that’s esports.
Last year after our defeat, a fan sent me a picture on Weibo; it was a quote from Michael Jordan: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”. I told our players the same thing this year, if one year is not enough, let’s try two, if two years is not enough, let’s try three. We are confident that we will achieve positive results next season.
Is there anything that you want to say to fans of PSG.LGD?
As always, a big thank you to all the fans for your continued support and love for LGD gaming as well as our players. We will work hard to bring you better results.