Tundra Esports have become the first team in 2021 to outlast PSG.LGD in a grand final of tier-1 Dota 2.
This also comes at a time when they could really use the victory, as their dream of making it to TI was shattered less than six weeks ago. After a phenomenal rise from the ashes in the TI Regional Qualifiers for the final slots, Tundra had choked in a similar 5-game final series against OG. Granted that there are no more tier-1 events until The International, this was Tundra Esports' final chance this year.
Tundra Esports are the first European team to win an international tier-1 Dota 2 event this year
After forming Tundra Esports off the mudgolems stack, this is the first ever tournament win for Tundra captain Adrian "Fata" Trinks with their now-familiar stack. Of all the possible teams, they managed to secure a win against no less than PSG.LGD, arguably the biggest TI contender this year.
Tundra Esports had the occasional momentary lapse of fortitude after PSG.LGD's emphatic comeback in the second game. PSG.LGD's Vengeful Spirit pick on Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida was high-impact enough for Tundra to draft it for themselves while reserving the ban slots for respect-bans.
The price of this was an even more lopsided third game with an unstoppable Wang "Ame" Chunyu on his Sven. The unflinching Tundra Esports side, battle-hardened from a highly competitive TI qualifier tournament in the West European Dota 2 region, came out on top. Their MVP for the tournament is clearly Leon "Nine" Kirilin - first with a meta pick in the fourth game as Templar Assassin, and then with his ultimate comfort pick in the final tiebreaker, Lina.
However, Tundra Esports did not go toe to toe against PSG.LGD in its full capacity. Their midlaner, Cheng "NothingToSay" Xin Jiang, is currently held in Malaysia facing travel restrictions. The stand-in for him was Zhang "xiao8" Ning, the PSG.LGD coach. The credentials of xiao8 as a former TI-winner are beyond dispute. The only drawback is that he hasn't played Dota 2 professionally for two years. Moreover, NothingToSay, the top midlaner in the Chinese Immortal bracket, is a big factor behind what makes PSG.LGD a league above their competitors.
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Whether or not PSG.LGD still remain the favorite Dota 2 team going to TI in Bucharest, potentially without NothingToSay, is up for debate. So far, they have shown that they are just as formidable with xiao8, as they have recently won the OGA Dota 2 PIT China, and almost made their way to the ESL One Fall 2021 as well.