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PSG.LGD and OG will go today head to head on a tournament arena stage for the first time since the grand finals of TI8 grand finals. EPICENTER Major is the stage graced with this event and this will also be the last time this season when the TI8 champions and the runners up in Vancouver will clash in a survival battle before TI9.

We’ve been lucky to catch with PSG.LGD’s Jian Wei “xNova” Yap a few hours before the match is set to begin in the CSKA Arena from Moscow, Russia and here is what he had to say about the TI8 grand finals rematch with OG.

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Thanks for coming for this interview although you have a practice game in about 10 minutes, so let’s be quick and go straight to the subject: How confident are you guys that you can defend the title here at EPICENTER?

Oh, well, there is still a long way to go to that upper bracket grand finals. We are now in the lower bracket rounds so I’m not going to say how confident we are. All I can say is that we will try our best, of course. We will take it step by step.


Your first match on the stage is against OG. You defeated them here, in the group stage, but given the fact that you didn’t play against them on stage since TI8, does this meeting has extra meaning for you, does it bring extra pressure?

Yes, this game is quite important to us. It’s a very meaningful match because since TI8 we actually had no other opportunity to play against each other. Of course, except for the group stage from a few days ago, but I think they were either just having fun in our first series here, or they were trying to integrate their coach in, so maybe that’s why they were trying some stuff. However, from how they played in the playoffs versus EG and Secret I’d say they are looking very strong so I’m very excited to play versus them.


TI9 isn’t that far anymore, we are in fact, just a month and a half away from the big moment. How is the Chinese competitive scene, do you feel like the strong teams in your region are ready to fight for the Aegis in Shanghai?

To be honest, except for Vici Gaming, I think that all other teams are quite stagnant. I think we have the same problem to some extent. For us it might be draft, it might be the patch that had a strong impact on the Chinese teams, on our play style. The Chinese scene didn’t have so many teams that had outstanding performances through this entire season, of course, as I said, the exception is VG who won the Minor in Kiev and then the Major in Sweden, now they are already in the upper bracket finals here. 

So, I would say that in this month leading up to TI9 there is a lot of work that needs to be done. But, this year the TI is in Shanghai, so we might have the home ground advantage. I think that it will be easier for all of us when it comes down to practice. For the past few years, we’ve been traveling out and we needed to always fix the jet lag, our body clock and that consumes you without even noticing it. With TI9 being in Shanghai, most of the western teams I think will come for boot camps in China and that can only be good for us. 


Speaking about drafts and the meta that perhaps doesn’t play to the Chinese teams advantage, what would you say is the reason for this 7.22 patch still being played on a fast tempo, although the towers got extra armor, the auras are nerfed, the Alchemist seems pretty legit for a late game now, I mean Maybe has already shown it  here?

I think it has a lot to do with how people got used to play the game and with the fact that we still have several heroes that are super strong in the laning stage so they can bring a good advantage. Heroes like Chen, Dark Seer or Spirit Breaker are very fast paced early game oriented and more often than not you will have at least one of them in the game, so I’d say that is one of the main reasons why games are still short. Also, Io is a priority for so many teams and so the game climax is around the mid-stage.


Do you hope for a new big patch before TI9, or are you happy with the current one?

A big patch before TI9 would be really good, it would refresh everyone’s game. It would be good for us, the players and for the viewers. 


What’s the plan for PSG.LGD after this EPICENTER Major, are you guys going to take a bit of a vacation or are you going straight to an intense practice mod?

After the Major, there are actually a couple of weeks when the regional qualifier will be played and we will use those for a very short break. We will focus and start the boot camp after the qualifiers are over, after we know all the teams coming to The International. 


It’s time for us to wrap up the interview here, thank you very much for taking the time for us and good luck on the main stage here at EPICENTER.

Thank you.

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