posted by Abelle,
One of China's strongest teams hasn't had a single win yet in the EPICENTER XL group stage. A loss today would mean early elimination. What happened?

From the start, Newbee's group was pegged as the tougher one of the two at the Major in Moscow. They've got two leading DPC teams in and Team Secret, and those were the first two teams that they faced. They managed to win a single game in both series, but ultimately lost both matches 2-1. Interestingly, both wins were the only games of the six that featured Naga Siren.

The hero is usually Hu 'Kaka' Liangzhi's signature, but it went to Damien 'kpii' Chok in the game against VP. He used Radiance as an answer to Roman 'RAMZEs' Kushnarev's Broodmother's spiderlings.

Once Newbee were past those big names, it still felt like they weren't struggling so much and could still stand a chance at improving over the course of the group stage. That is, until they were absolutely run over by paiN Gaming* yesterday.

Both teams were still looking for a win coming into this match, which made the result that much more surprising. The first game wasn't a stomp by any reckoning, but paiN had a pushing advantage with wave clear from Templar Assassin, Kunkka, Underlord and Leshrac. Of course, Leshrac and TA (with Desolator) were adept at taking towers, and Newbee were forced to concede around the 35 minute mark after losing two sets of barracks.

paiN double down on the push power for the second game, swapping in a Luna, Nature's Prophet and Lina in their next draft. This time, Newbee couldn't get anything done and were overcome in just 23 minutes.

Now, Newbee are the only team in Group B without a win. Since Team Secret and paiN are the only two with a 1-2 score currently and those two play each other today, there will be at least four teams with at least two wins in the group. Only four teams make it to playoffs from each group so if Newbee want to make playoffs, they have to win both of their remaining matches.

Their opponents for those matches will be Natus Vincere today and OG. Before the event started, those might have seemed like the relatively weaker teams of the group but OG are currently undefeated and Na`Vi are fresh off a victory against Staying in this event is going to be an uphill battle for Newbee.

Header photo source: EPICENTER

  • Abelle


    Annabelle Fischer
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