A clash of titans, PSG.LGD and Team Secret collide for a spot in The International 10 finals

Two long journeys, but only one can move on.

Image via DJ Esports

This article is sponsored by DJ Esports.

PSG.LGD was a favorite heading into The International 10, and they have thus far proved that they were worthy of that praise with a dominant run through the upper bracket that has them one series away from reaching the grand finals. 

Standing in their way is Team Secret, another powerful squad that has been playing their best Dota of the year when it matters most, and is the only team that took a game off of LGD in the group stage. 

LGD started this run with a 2-1 win over T1, followed by sweeping Virtus.pro, looking unbeatable while doing so. They are prone to opening up a lead and suffocating their opponents with their net worth lead, essentially bleeding them out until they find an opening to take the throne. 

Meanwhile, Secret is slightly more solid in their approach. With a powerful strategic mind at the helm in the form of Puppey, the European juggernaut has hit its stride and swept two-time defending champions OG and top-seeded Invictus Gaming. 

This run has resulted in the team making it into the top three at TI for the first time, and you can expect them to play to their strengths and try to counter LGD at every turn as they pursue the organization’s first Aegis. 

All of LGD’s players are individually skilled and they can take a leading role when needed in the laning phase. From there, they like to launch an attack to test the waters and try to reach an advantageous position to take control of the game. 

In recent games, they have been more likely to let their opponents act first and then react with extreme speed and precision to swing those interactions in their favor, as exemplified in their win over VP in the previous round. 

If Secret can’t outperform LGD with their draft and exploit a weakness early, you might see them fall behind in the lanes and play for more objective-centric team fights once they have more spells and items online. However, DJ Esports’ data favors LGD to take a 2-1 win and move on to the grand finals for the second time in three seasons. 

Based on DJ Esports’ analytics, LGD has secured the first ten kills in eight of their last ten games, including in matchups that they might not have initially been favored to do so in. This shows that they like their early offensive pushes and prefer to dictate the tempo of a game with the power of their core players like Ame and NothingToSay—which makes this a safe bet compared to Secret’s more conservative openings. 

Unless LGD can establish control early, they have a lower chance to secure the first Roshan, with a 50 percent first Roshan rate over the last 10 games. In many cases, they miss out on the fight entirely and then fall behind slightly because of the items the beast gives its slayers. 

On the other hand, Secret plays objectives very well and tends to at least try and take a fight around the Roshan so they can grab an Aegis for their core players. With that in mind, they have much better odds at taking down the Rosh first. 

Secret has a lower win rate at TI10, but they are more likely to take First Blood because they play aggressively in the lanes. If they see an opportunity to secure a kill, they could rotate another player over and lock their target down. 

Because this plays into Secret’s usual strategy of developing their lineup through the laning phase and gaining map control, you can expect the early offensive and for the EU squad to grab First Blood. 

Win or lose, there will be kills. Either team will almost certainly get 20 kills, and might even press forward to 30 kills under the right circumstances. These are two very fast-paced teams that both prefer to choose heroes that focus on being proactive in lanes and providing key elements to a team fight strategy.

With how strong Secret and LGD are, there is no doubt that this will be an intense game, even if it ends up being a blowout on the scoreboard. With over/under being set at 46.5 kills for game one, taking the over is pretty safe. If not for game one, definitely take it for game two since the teams will have a better feel for each other and could play a bit riskier.  

Both of these teams have demonstrated extraordinary strength at TI10, and whoever gets knocked down to the lower bracket has a real chance to make the short jump back up into grand finals after some additional battles.

For more odds on this match and any other games featured at The International 10, you can view them on DJ Esports.