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Newbee pulled off a huge upset today by toppling Vici Gaming in the first round of the losers bracket in the China region of ESL One Los Angeles Online 2020.
Newbee as a whole eschewed the fast-pushing Dota 2 meta consisting of heroes like Death Prophet and Lycan in favor of a more flashy teamfight style. In fact, Newbee were punished when they picked up Lycan in the second game, perhaps cementing their decision to forgo it.
While VG are known as one of the best teamfighting squads internationally, they weren’t up to that standard against Newbee today.
In the first game, Newbee severely punished VG’s decision to pick up the Huskar for Ori with a classic Shadow Demon and Leshrac combo. Ori couldn’t get his game off the ground since he got ganked repeatedly. Newbee continued abusing VG’s lack of lockdown with low cooldowns and multiple saves, rushing down objectives with Centaur Warrunner’s Retaliate and Leshrac’s Diabolic Edict.
VG appeared to regain their form in game two, making space for Eurus’ Juggernaut to eventually take over the match. VG put the position four Mirana to great use, combining it with long stuns in Dragon Knight and Centaur to take down Newbee’s mobile but squishy cores.
It was a brief respite for the Chinese giants, however, since Newbee put VG to the sword in the third game. Newbee focused on a teamfight lineup and VG’s lack of aggressive supports meant that they were unable to shut down Newbee’s Storm Spirit, who proceeded to threaten VG in every single clash.
Newbee mid laner Yin “Aq“ Rui’s game two performance might not have been the prettiest, but it was sandwiched by a phenomenal game one Leshrac and game three Storm Spirit that firmly set the tempo for Newbee.
VG’s elimination means that the two highest-ranked Chinese teams—VG in second and Invictus Gaming in fifth—in the Dota Pro Circuit have been eliminated from the competition.
Invictus Gaming were previously gutted by VG’s own hands in the group stage. Another Chinese titan, PSG.LGD, also fell in the initial stages of the competition. The three organizations headed into ESL One L.A. Online as the favored top three, but their play and results weren’t up to par.
Newbee move on to face EHOME in the second round of the losers bracket. Royal Never Give Up await the winner of the matchup in the grand finals of the ESL One L.A. Online event.