The two-time TI finalist org and all five players of their active lineup (including Faith, a winner of TI2 and Moogy, a TI7 runner-up) were blacklisted by the Chinese Dota2 Professional Association (CDA), banning them from all Chinese Dota 2 competitions, likely due to their game against Avengerls in the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor qualifiers back in February.
Newbee banned across the board
Newbee, one of the founders of the CDA, are no longer welcome at any of the events hosted by the organization, and their main players and team leader are now investigated for matchfixing. The CDA filed its official report on May 15 confirming that they’ve forwarded all relevant information and evidence to Valve and Perfect World, their Chinese partner company.
ImbaTV made a separate announcement on Weibo about the ban, stating that “Imba Media resolutely cracks down on all actions that violate the spirit of e-sports, and resolutely maintains a fair and just competitive environment. The original intention of holding the DOTA2 series league is to help the Chinese DOTA2 team and players to better practice themselves, improve the level and improve the overall strength of CNDOTA2, rather than provide a hotbed for unfair competition! I hope that all participating clubs can take this as a warning, strengthen the management of players and teams, and resolutely resist unfair competitions such as fake matches”.
The organization was in dire financial state in 2018 as part of one of the many shady dealings and improprieties which marred the Chinese scene at the time. Their academy team, Newbee.young has left the organization and no longer has any contractual ties to the scandal-tainted org. The main team’s ban has affected a TI winner and a TI finalist in the form of Faith and Moogy, making this one of the biggest matchfixing-related scandal in the Dota 2 scene in a very long time.
The Newbee matchfixing incident
It seems highly likely that the game in question is Newbee’s meeting with Avengerls in the recent StarLadder ImbaTV Minor qualifiers, completing a slow-motion fall from grace for an organization that was once atop the Dota 2 world with a TI win under their belt.
Infamously, this was a game that prompted legendary player xiao8 to exclaim “I’ll eat shit if this was not fixed” and was immediately seen as suspicious by the community. Even Newbee themselves made a post on Weibo stating their opponents “let them win” in games two (match ID: 5248304670) and three (match ID: 5248349736).
Newbee players banned and response
The players and individuals banned by the CDA and ImbaTV are:
- Xu “Moogy” Han
- Yin “Aq” Rui
- Wen “Wizard” Lipeng
- Yan “Waixi” Chao
- Zeng “Faith” Hongda
Newbee denied all accusations in their own statement and confirmed that they plan to file an appeal, stating that “since the establishment of the Newbee eSports club, it has never participated in any fake matches and gambling activities with the club or branch as the main body”.