Former TI champion Newbee receives lifetime match fixing ban in China

Neslyn A. May 15, 2020

Newbee and its five players have received a lifetime ban from all Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association (CDA) and IMBA TV events.

The esports organization was removed from the CDA alliance. Newbee is one of the founding members of CDA along with top Chinese Dota 2 teams. Newbee’s team leader Feng “Feng” Yiqing was also included in the punishment. All CDA members are prohibited to collaborate with Feng in any esports related work.

Newbee’s active roster includes:

  1. Xu "Moogy" Han
  2. Yin "Aq" Rui
  3. Wen "Wizard" Lipeng
  4. Yan "Waixi" Chao
  5. Zeng "Faith" Hongda

IMBA TV has released its official announcement detailing the sanctions imposed on Newbee. It told fans that Newbee has violated the spirit of fair play in the competitive scene. The organization was found guilty of match fixing after an investigation from multiple parties. IMBA TV denounced Newbee’s actions and told all Chinese teams to learn from Newbee’s mistakes.

CDA also released a statement of their own. Its alliance decided to terminate the membership of Newbee as it defied the ethical standard of the association. CDA also found out that the players of Newbee Young were not controlled by Newbee Esports Club anymore.

The ban hammer was then in full swing. CDA and IMBA TV reported the incident to Valve and Perfect World.

Newbee denied all of the match fixing allegations. The club said that it never participated in any fake matches and gambling activities in the past. Newbee has filed an appeal to CDA in the hopes that the alliance will revoke its sentence.

CDA's remaining members are Vici Gaming, Invictus Gaming, PSG.LGD, Team Aster, EHOME, Royal Never Give Up, and Keen Gaming. The association aims to provide a competitive environment to maintain the high quality of games for these teams.

Fans speculate after Newbee banned for match fixing

In February, Newbee and Avengerls were suspected of match fixing during the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor qualifiers. EHOME coach Zhang "xiao8" Ning called out the two teams for the obvious fixed match and said that he “eat shit on stream” if he’s wrong.

However, Newbee scored 2-1 and won the series. Fans think that Newbee sold the first ten kills, or that the team stretched the game beyond 40 minutes on purpose.

Fans thought the issue died down without any concrete proof being available. But three months later, a lifetime ban was imposed. Are these events correlated, and was this the series Newbee was found guilty of fixing? Fans were left to speculate.

The Chinese community also has a range of opinions about Newbee. Some say that one member of the team won too much money from betting websites, raising suspicion.

Others claimed that Faith is broadly known for shady practices such as match fixing and gambling. JBO Betting has accused Faith of deliberately giving away the first blood in his last 18 games.

Faith is one of the pillars of China’s Dota 2 scene. In 2012, he played a key role in the success of Invictus Gaming at The International. The team won the tournament in a 3-1 series against fan favorite Natus Vincere.

Newbee claimed its own championship title at The International 2014. Fans also lauded the team for its second-place finish at The International 2017.