Dota 2 giant Newbee banned from Valve events for life due to match-fixing

The trophy for The International Dota 2 tournament

Five Chinese Dota 2 players have been banned from official Valve tournaments for life following allegations of match-fixing last year while representing one of Dota’s biggest teams, Newbee.

The ex-Newbee roster became inactive in May 2020 after being handed a domestic ban from the Chinese Dota 2 Professional Association. This was after it was found guilty of match-fixing. Seven months later, Valve and the Chinese publisher of its games Perfect World have now ruled that the five players and the Newbee organisation will be permanently banned from its major competitions too. This includes The International, which Newbee won in 2014. This all but seals the fate of one of Dota 2’s most storied and biggest teams.

The five players receiving lifetime bans are Xu ‘Moogy’ Han, Yin ‘AQ’ Rui, Wen ‘Wizard’ Lipeng, Yan ‘Waixi’ Chao, and Zeng ‘Faith’ Hongda. This was confirmed by a post on the official Dota 2 Weibo page.

While the announcement is not necessarily surprising, the length of time between Newbee receiving its domestic ban and its international ban from Valve is certainly strange.

The announcement of Newbee’s permanent exclusion from Dota 2 majors comes shortly after Valve revealed changes to the Dota 2 Pro Circuit, which will finally resume on January 18.

The Pro Circuit will take on a regional, two-season format, with both seasons including a major. Valve also confirms that this will be in the build up to the postponed TI10, but did not commit to a date for the prestigious tournament.

When finally hosted, TI10 will have the biggest prize pot in esports history, with over $40 million to play for.