Jeeze, Dave, what happened to Newbee at Nanyang?
Well, as the title of this article may have tipped you off, they got rekt. This is the second highly regarded Chinese team to waltz into round one of a matchup and never make it past the sliding glass door. Actually, let me amend that statement for Newbee, because unlike forfeiter EHOME, Newbee at least came back in the next game with a win.
Here are the highlights from the massacre:
I’ve spent a fair amount of time today watching a few of Newbee’s recent games, looking up info on dotabuff – you know, the sort of things an eSports writer is required to do. As much as it pains me to see them get brutalized in that first game against Wings, it’s given me some food for thought.
Food for thought, yum!
First, let’s take a look at the obvious. Newbee’s been playing well, and their match victories against strong teams like VG Reborn and LGD Gaming at Nanyang S2 are pretty clear indicators that they’re still a contender. Even their pubstomp-esque first game of the Bo3 against Wings wasn’t enough to break their spirit. Following that loss, we saw a fierce back and forth between the two. The pure hero-to-hero matchup favored of Wings, but Newbee managed to counter with strong positional play, including a late game smoke tactic that won them the match.
But consistency is key, and a team unable to hold on to advantage or build off a shift in their favor is never a good sign. When looking at net team advantage, throughout their NYC S2 games, we see drastic spikes both in and against Newbee’s favor. Which I expect, to some degree, among top tier teams. Still, seeing this lack of control in so many games says one of two things to me.
The first is that Newbee may be having difficulty with follow through. It’s possible that their strong positioning in-game is leading to overconfidence and enemy opportunity. The second is that their execution may be simply erratic, meaning we can’t be certain they’ll come out of team fights on top. If either are true, it could mean big trouble for Newbee at TI6.
So how will this impact their performance at TI6?
That’s a difficult call. Depending on their next match against LGD and, should they win, the following grand final match against Wings, I might leave them where they are in the top five or kick them to the middle third of the TI6 rankings. If they show me they can command a game in the way I’ve seen other pro teams, I’m more than happy to leave them in the top five, but based on current data, I’m inclined to believe that won’t be the case.