It’s their second grand-final in an International LAN this month – here they take the finals 3:1 over Team NP.
Coming in fresh from the Manila Masters just a week prior, both Zotac Grand Finalists were on a hotstreak – placing 2nd and 3rd to Evil Geniuses at the Manila tournament, and certainly eager to prove themselves worthy on the big stage to make each of their cases for a TI invite even stronger. The competition was arguably less strong here at Zotac, who was missing most of the Kiev top-placers, but both grand finalists did have some competition in the form of the promising line-ups coming from Fnatic and Digital Chaos. Both Newbee and NP were expected to reach the grand finals here, perhaps Newbee with a slight edge after a such a good performance at Manila. The grand finals was certainly an exciting match, with back-and-forth games and insane plays as well.
Game 1 exhibited Newbee’s teamplay with strong early-game rotations and their emphasis on crowd control. Their opening pick, a common trend in CIS teams (some call it the “CIS Gambit”) was Disruptor and Slardar – it seemed NP were expecting this to be Newbee’s support duo, but they were thrown a curve-ball when the Chinese team came out with a fourth-pick Earth Spirit, relegating the Slardar to Damien “kpii” Sau-jing Chok’s offlane, and complementing Song “Sccc” Chun’s midlane Shadow Fiend with a Vengeful Spirit for Xu “Moogy” Han. Newbee’s anti-armor strat coupled with a highly successful aggressive tri-lane (scoring multiple kills on Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao’s Ember Spirit in the early game) proved much too high-tempo for NP to handle, and both their crowd controllers, Clockwerk and Enigma, proved ineffective once Newbee seized control of the game.
NP bounced back in the second game, which was a back-and-forth nail-biter. Newbee drafted themselves the same support duo and offlaner, while NP switched things up with an Io pick for Johan “pieliedie” Astrom and a niche pick Brewmaster for Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling on the 4 position. This, coupled with successful duel victories for Arif “MSS” Anwar on the Legion Commander allowed NP the catch they needed to control Newbee’s heroes and kite Moogy’s Sven. A teamfight on the 56th minute that took down all three of Newbee’s cores ensured the win for Team NP, and stretched the series to a guaranteed four games.
Game 3 was a much shorter game lasting only 27-minutes, compared to the previous two which almost stretched out to an hour. This time the draft changed considerably – Newbee picked signature heroes for Zeng “Faith” Hongda and Moogy, the Crystal Maiden and Juggernaut, respectively, and followed up with a fast-push oriented strategy in the mid-lane Dragon Knight and Magnus for the offlane. Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi was also highly effective on the Clockwerk, causing chaos around the map and having a 13/19. EternaLEnVy’s core Mirana, which went for the right-click Dragon Lance into Maelstrom build instead of rushing Aghanim’s Scepter, proved ineffective in the game, comparatively accruing only 2/3’s of Moogy’s farm. The empowered Juggernaut and Dragon Knight helped close out the game, bringing Newbee only one win away from the current roster’s first international LAN title.
The final game of the series was a past-hour long nailbiter – with Newbee taking a slight advantage in the early stages of the game. An extended teamfight that began at the 28-minute mark saw both sides lose multiple heroes, but eventually led to Team NP taking the momentum from Newbee for a while. A few more exchanged engagements occur until the fateful teamfight around the hour mark seals the deal for Newbee and gives them the championship.
Newbee might have just cemented their invite to The International 7 with their win here at the Zotac Cup Masters, showing a clear return to form and an impressive breadth of strategies, along with Moogy finally finding his rhythm and the team not only revolving around Sccc’s mid-lane, Newbee is right on time in impressing before the TI invites roll out.
KaLeRei is currently enrolled as an engineering major. In her free time she likes going on quests to save the world with a party of interesting characters, building sprawling empires, or just going on adventures. Sometimes she also supports her friends when they feel like destroying ancients. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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