Newbee are triumphant in their return to Genting Highlands, Malaysia, taking home the ESL One Genting 2018 Minor trophy. But, perhaps more importantly, is the fact that it came against their rivals, Team Liquid, who they defeated 3-2 in the Grand Finals in a matchup that has been dubbed by many as the “modern el clasico”.
The exact same Newbee squad went to Genting last year, but they were not so lucky. Even after eliminating the heavy favourites Wings Gaming, they would fall to Digital Chaos 3-2 in the Grand Finals of ESL One Genting 2017. However, they made sure to finish the deed this time around.
We're honored and privileged to be facing @TeamLiquid once more tomorrow in what is sure to be an epic showdown at the Grand Finals of a Major!
See you all tomorrow #LIVE at Genting and may the better team win! pic.twitter.com/svavZoIsGP
— Newbee (@NewbeeCN) January 27, 2018
Newbee found themselves in an unfavourable matchup against Team Liquid in the Grand Finals. Many had already counted them out early, especially since they have yet to win a single best-of-three or best-of-five series against Team Liquid in the past two years. But, that didn’t matter for the TI7 runner-ups. Instead, they gave the reigning TI champions all that they had, and eventually came out on top after a grueling five-game series.
With the win, Newbee will take home $160,000 USD and more importantly, 200 Qualifying Points for The International 2018.
Minimize GH’s Impact, Secure the Win
Newbee’s plan on beating Team Liquid in the Grand Finals of the ESL One Genting 2018 Minor was plain and simple: minimize Maroun ‘GH‘ Merhej and his impact in the game, regardless of the hero that he’s playing. Though Newbee were not able to execute their gameplan for the entire series, they did manage to do so when it counted the most. In fact, in their series-clinching win in Game 5, Newbee was able to effectively shut down GH; the sophomore Lebanese Dota 2 player finished the game with 0 kills, 10 deaths, and just 11 assists, which is a far cry from his usual numbers.
Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi tried his best to give Team Liquid a legitimate shot at extending their win streak against Newbee to eight and taking home their third Minor trophy for the season. However, a few costly mistakes late in the game, including a die-back from Miracle- himself as they were defending their high ground, all but shut the door on their chances of making a comeback.
While the loss won’t affect Team Liquid’s standings in the season leaderboards too much, it does add another wrinkle to what quickly become an all-time classic matchup.
What’s Next After The ESL One Genting 2018 Minor?
Less than a week after the ESL One Genting 2018 Minor, we’ve got yet another Minor to look forward to. Just a few countries away in China, eight Dota 2 teams will converge in Shanghai for Season 4 of the Starladder i-League Invitational Minor.
Once again, Team Liquid and Newbee will headline the last of participants, as they have since the second iteration of the tournament. As the two-time defending champions, Team Liquid will look to make it three in a row. But, given how they just lost to Newbee, we might just see the reigning TI champions fall short yet again from hoisting another title.
Did Newbee’s win against Team Liquid in the Grand Finals of the ESL One Genting 2018 Minor surprise you? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.