Nearly a year after evidence of the entire Newbee squad, as well as managerial staff being involved in a match-fixing scheme, was submitted, Valve and the Dota 2 publisher in China, Perfect World imposed a lifetime ban on the organization and the players caught manipulating official matches results.
The match-fixing incident happened back in February 2020, during the Chinese closed qualifiers for StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. Numerous reports containing clear evidence were submitted to multiple tournament organizers in the region as well as to Valve and PW. However, in the following months only Mars Media (MDL organizers), ImbaTV and Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association announced back then lifetime bans on the organization and its players.
- Read more: Newbee expelled from the Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association, all players lifetime banned from Imba and CDA events for match fixing
Newbee tried to fight back in 2020 and even threatened CDA with a lawsuit, claiming that the evidence submitted is false and that the players interviewed during the investigation were threatened and tricked to make untruthful and unfavorable statements.
Despite the scandal, neither Perfect World nor Valve acted for nearly 12 months and Newbee players who regrouped under the Ink Ice tag continued to be invited to various events, including a Perfect World League held through the online season of 2020.
Before the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit Regional Leagues invites to be revealed for all regions, reports delivered anonymously cited that former Newbee players involved in the match-fixing, now regrouped under the Ink Ice tag were on the invites list for the first season of China Regional League.
Nonetheless, the official invites were made public today by Perfect World and none of the former Newbee/Ink Ice players were included.
Following the official announcement on the China Regional League Season 1, Valve along with Perfect World issued a notice announcing lifetime bans for Newbee and the following players:
- Xu “Moogy” Han
- Yin “Aq” Rui
- Wen “Wizard” Lipeng
- Yan “Waixi” Chao
- Zeng “Faith” Hongda
While Aq, Wizard and Waxi were just at the begging of their careers when they joined Newbee, Faith is a true veteran of the scene and now the first player to have his name engraved on the Aegis of Champions won with Invictus Gaming at TI2 while also being permanently banned from any Valve tournaments. Moogy is also a TI runner-up at The International 2017, also with Newbee. At the same time, Newbee becomes the first organization to have won The International (TI4) and to receive a lifetime ban from any Valve events.