Newbee has officially overcome their post-International slump.
The Chinese Dota 2 team won the richest event in esports history when they triumphed at The International 4 in July. The team’s unexpected first-place run was highlighted by a sterling playoff run including series victories over such teams as Evil Geniuses, Vici Gaming, and Natus Vincere.
But since claiming the trophy and a first-place cash prize of over $5 million, Newbee has struggled to maintain that stellar form.
It’s understandable. The team lost the services of Zhang “Xiao 8” Ning, who retired from Dota 2 play immediately after The Inernational concluded. It was a fine way to go out, but left the world champions in need of immediate changes.
Former LGD Gaming Wang “Rabbit” Zhang was brought in to fill the gap left by Zhang’s departure, but the team struggled in the World Esport Championships and I-League final earlier in the month of September.
The World Cyber Arena event, held in the team’s native China, presented a good opportunity to get things back on track. And Newbee took advantage. The team managed to put together a nearly flawless run in winning the tournament, which featured a prize pool of nearly $500,000.
While Europe proved the strongest region at the tournament, its teams proved no match for Newbee on an individual scale. The Chinese side defeated Natus Vincere, Alliance, and twice beat Cloud9, all while dropping only a single game en route to the title.
The grand final, played between Newbee and Cloud9, resulted in a sweep in favor of the International champions. Cloud9 wasn’t easily put away as the first game took over an hour to complete, but Newbee simply couldn’t be denied.
Cloud9 and Alliance did manage to round out the top three, overcoming contending Chinese Vici Gaming and Invictus Gaming, as well as the newly formed Team Malaysia.