The International 2018: Newbee

The lineup of Newbee is one to fear, no matter what team you’re playing for. The five are all at the absolute top of their positions. And while most other teams decided to part ways or make major changes, the TI7 runner-ups stuck together. And who can blame them? Last year, Sccc was a monster in the midlane, Moogy’s carry play was almost impeccable, and kpii managed to turn even the most disadvantageous offlane into a winning one. Yet the most important player of the team is Kaka. The position 4 support has become vital to any teams success over the last few years. And while the shift to dual lanes may have nerfed it, Newbee still counts on Kaka having a good game for them to win. So do yourself a favour and have a look at his play the next time you watch Newbee, and you’ll see why he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.



“Second place is the first loser” has probably never rung more true than for Newbee last year. The team reached the finals without breaking a sweat only to lose in humiliating fashion. Their loss gave us an iconic moments of Dota 2 history as the True Sight team followed Newbee in the time right after their loss. In the documentary, we saw the “Sccc supervillain”-shot as well as Moogy’s heartbreak and most of the community were convinced they’d be back this year with a vengeance. While Newbee may have gotten their vengeance on Team Liquid early on in the season, they seemingly peaked too early. Newbee won ESL One Genting and the Perfect World Masters but those are both Minors and that’s the problem. Every time a Major was held, Newbee seemed lost. Finishing 3rd-4th in a few Majors isn’t good enough. They’ll have to change their approach to the game if they want to reach the grand finals again. After TI7, Newbee made no changes a no-brainer decision as they reached the finals but it might also have been what set them up for their subpar season. Unlike traditional sport teams, teams in esports are smaller and spend much more time together. 10-12 hour practise days are not uncommon and when you spend that much time together with another human even their small flaws may become huge issues. In our interview at ESL One Birmingham, kpii said: When a team is together for a long time it’s natural that problems start to appear. It’s typical for a team that’s been together for too long and now we have to try to figure out how we’re going to “freshen up”. This process “freshening up” is what will define Newbee’s season. They have to fight the status quo and shake up their players without actually changing players. If they succeed they may very well turn their season around. If not there’ll be more tears in their future. Even though Newbee hasn’t won a single major this year it doesn’t mean they’ll be a no-show at TI. Almost the opposite. The only tournaments Newbee won in the 2016/2017 season was Galaxy Battles and Zotac Cup Masters. Not exactly prestigious events. The most important thing for Newbee is to get back into their groove. With the extended down-period between the last DPC tournament and TI8 they have time to finally rest and properly bootcamp. With the last major patch being released they’ll also have plenty of time to theorycraft. People might have written them off but that’s where Newbee thrives.

(1) Xu "Moogy" Han
(2) Song "Sccc" Chun
(3) Damien "kpii" Chok
(4) Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi
(5) Zeng "Faith" Hongda
The International 2018: Newbee The International 2018: Newbee Reviewed by Jesi Max on 08:26 Rating: 5

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