After losing 2 of its players to free agency, the Chinese powerhouse returns to the Pro Circuit with a new look and an altered lineup.
The post-TI roster shuffle appears to be coming on in waves now, and the most recent wave has hit China, as news of roster changes and player moves is flooding in. TI8 attendee and regional power Newbee has become one of many teams from the Chinese region to participate in the roster shuffle, as the squad has announced 2 new additions to the team to fill out the vacancies left by the departure of Damien “kpii” Chok and Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi. Offlaner He “Inflame” Yongzheng will be transferring from the roster of LGD.Forever Young, while support player Tang “CatYou” Xiaolei has been called up from the youth squad of the Newbee organization.
Inflame comes to the Newbee roster having spent around a year and a half with LGD.Forever Young. He played a large role in the team’s 3rd place finish at TI7, but spent around a month as an inactive member of the team’s roster in February of this year due to health concerns. He returned to the team in March, and helped the squad make its final Pro Circuit appearance of the season a the ESL One Birmingham 2018 Major before ultimate falling short in the TI8 China Qualifier with a 3rd place finish overall.
As for Catyou, he spent all of last season, and all of his Dota 2 career, as a member of the Newbee organization’s youth squads. He joined the roster of Newbee.M in December of 2017, and managed to help the team to a handful of decent performances in regional qualifiers and minor tournaments. In March of 2018, he was moved from Newbee.M to the roster of Newbee Young, but temporarily left that squad to make a run through the TI8 Qualifiers as a member of Young Dumb. With that team, CatYou was able to make it all the way to the main regional qualifiers, but fell well short of the mark to earn a place at TI8 with a 5th-8th place finish in said qualifier.
The loss of kpii and Kaka was certainly a significant blow for Newbee heading into this season, and at first glance it appears that Inflame and CatYou are not quite on the same level as replacements in the lineup. However, Inflame is a player that brings a fair bit of experience and success on the international level, and CatYou’s relative inexperience will hopefully be outweighed by his talent and adaptability. This Newbee squad may not have the same star power as its old one, but the team still stands to be a solid contender within the Chinese region this season.
The roster of Newbee following the addition of Inflame and CatYou:
Xu “Moogy” Han (Carry)
Song “Sccc” Chun (Mid)
He “Inflame” Yongzheng (Offlane)
Zeng “Faith” Hongda (Support, Captain)
Tang “CatYou” Xiaolei (Support)
Wang “SanSheng” Zhaohui (Coach)
Zhu “CaoMei” Chao (Manager)