Product Update - Valve
- Fixed Death Pulse heal values being a little higher than intended
Product Update - Valve
- Matchmaking now considers geographical distance when finding players for your team.
- Fixed a bug where Radiance from a hero would not take priority over the Radiance aura from an illusion.
- Fixed Undying's Decay gaining and losing slightly too little HP.
- Fixed instances of particle effects visually lasting too long when they completed outside of the player's view.
- Fixed a bug which prevented Spiderlings and Spiderites from saving into selection groups correctly.
- macOS: Fixed a problem handling the full range of Unicode characters in Steam names. Fixes display of names with emoji or Chinese characters in chat, for example.
PC Gamer

Photo credit: Adela Sznajder/ESL. ChuaN is one of the most experienced figures in the Dota 2 scene.

With the announcement of the 2017 edition of the Dota 2 Asia Championships in Spring, it’s a make-or-break period for Chinese teams. After invites were handed out, a curious squad was announced by a famous team. Newbee.Boss, a revamp of a pre-existing B-team, includes a mix of three established players, ChuaN, Ferrari_430, Xiao8, and 'newcomers' axx and Zei9.

To the confusion of those who are unfamiliar with the fresh faces, the team has been called a 'troll' team, not to be taken seriously in the long run. Meanwhile, the Newbee Weibo playfully stated: “Yes, they are serious~”.

So what’s really going on? According to fans aware of the Chinese scene, the indicator of whether or not the team is legitimate is “the boss” Zei9, who is reportedly… well, literally their boss. 

One of the owners of Newbee is playing on the squad using that handle, according to reliable sources. He apparently isn’t too bad, as he’s reportedly in the 6k MMR range and trains regularly under ex-competitive player SanSheng. According to a Reddit comment by a user who has translated Chinese Dota 2 content previously, “People used to jokingly say the most hard working Newbee player is Zei9.” Past images have shown the CEO in the 5k MMR range (circa TI5) and some fans on social media claim they have seen this player in action on ChuaN’s stream.

She ranks in at an incredible 7100 MMR, and her tournament match win rate, according to DotaBuff, is an impressive 55%

Meanwhile, new recruit axx has the Dota 2 community talking up a storm. After all, she is the most recent woman player to be given a shot at making it to a large-scale LAN—and it’s no token appearance, if her stats tell the story. She ranks in at an incredible 7100 MMR, and her tournament match win rate, according to DotaBuff, is an impressive 55% in 539 recorded games (with an even more astounding 65% pub rate). Axx plays a magical Invoker, about 75% of 33 games, and has a strong record on other carry heroes including Alchemist, Shadow Fiend, and Slardar. Having played in leagues with other major names such as fy and old chicken, the popular streamer and in-house player could be an essential core for the new team and a strong new presence in both the Chinese scene and abroad. 

Even with the lack of competitive experience of the two new players, the notable veterans in the squad are a force to be reckoned with. Those who are familiar with the Dota 2 scene will recognise all three of them as International winners.The Malaysian support ChuaN is a mainstay in the professional Dota 2 scene. As a part of Invictus Gaming, he won The International 2012, which started the West-to-East back-and-forth pattern seen in the annual Valve tournament. Since then he's had a rollercoaster ride in regards to his Dota 2 success, as other International victors have historically suffered. In late 2015, he left IG and joined Newbee instead, though he worked through similar ups-and-downs under this banner. He was last seen on the big stage at TI6 in August, where Newbee took the 9th-12th place slot; after this low placement, the took an indefinite hiatus from competitive play.

Newbee's championship team at The International 2014.

ChuaN’s ex-teammate and fellow TI2 winner Ferrari_430 has been hidden from the scene for a bit longer than ChuaN. According to his official DotaBuff record, the mid player’s last premier game with his former squad IG took place seven months ago as part of the TI6 China qualifiers. Since then, like many other high-rank players in China, he has been engaged in in-house leagues until his re-emergence into this new squad.

The team’s third International champion and captain Xiao8 won in 2014 as part of the core team of Newbee. Don’t be fooled by the relatively late win, though—the player has been around since 2010, notably in the first TI with IG in 2011 and with LGD in 2012, taking third place after being knocked out by some of his current teammates. In fact, he is one of the few players remaining who has made an appearance at the main event of every iteration of The International (Every. Single. One.), regardless of team affiliation. Most recently, he qualified for Boston as part of LFY (LGD.Forever.Young), but the team fell to eventual second place winners Ad Finem. 

He supposedly 'retired' after Boston for at least six months, though given Dota 2’s history of 'retiring' players, the meaning of this word may need to be reevaluated. Technically, this was his second 'retirement', as he did so after TI4 and returned in a serious manner not too long after. Still, it could contribute to why the team is not taken seriously.

So now that we can understand who all of these players are, we can start asking—what’s the deal with Newbee.Boss? Most likely, the speculation of the community is correct: this could be a 'just for fun' team, albeit with eyes on the main stage of DAC alongside the main Newbee squad. Between xiao8’s re-rise from retirement and the CEO of the company joining in, fans have found little reason to treat the squad like their A-team counterparts. Even with axx’s skill, some believe that she’s on the team just for kicks due to her streaming background.

Newbee.Boss looked strong in their first matches against Calvary and Rush.B

To be clear, this fan-pleasing combination of well-known players with personalities isn’t unfamiliar in Dota 2. In the Western scene, NA’s Vegetable Esports Club is a ragtag team of rogue pros and English casters that fights through qualifiers for several tournaments. It’s a worthy effort, as VEC only lost in the Boston Major NA open qualifiers to ProDota, the cross-server EU team that eventually fell in the main qualifiers. Given Dota 2's frequent use of open qualifiers, squads of free agents pop up often with varying degrees of success. Most recently, Evil Geniuses CEO and ex-captain PPD formed his own squad with several other pros for the Kiev Major qualifiers.

While Newbee.Boss may just be a fun dream team to play on for Newbee's boss, it’s certainly not an unworthy squad. During the Dota 2 Asia Championship 'pre-qualifier' for an abandoned qualifier spot, Newbee.Boss looked strong in their first matches against Calvary and Rush.B, displaying a strong sense of team cohesion, Newbee.Boss cleanly took two games straight per match. In fact, zei9 performed skillfully among the chorus of pros. The team must now fight through main qualifiers, full of powerhouse teams such as EHOME, LFY, and IG, but this means that they have a very real shot at making it to the main event.

Newbee.Boss is a strange mix of long-time legends and complete unknowns. After all, “three Chinese legends, a strong female player, and their boss make a gaming squad” sounds like the start of a cheesy joke (or a Hollywood movie). Even so, while some of the former TI champions have come in and out of relevance, this formation could let axx break out into the international scene—and give Newbee's boss a taste of the glory that he's helped others achieve.

PC Gamer

Photo credit: World Electronic Sports Games

This weekend, all eyes will be on China as the World Electronic Sports Games opens its doors. There’s plenty to watch, from top-tier Dota 2 to the League of Legends EU Challenger Series. We even have some top quality action from one of Hearthstone’s highest ranked players. All the details on this weekend’s events can be found below.

Dota 2: World Electronic Sports Games

The World Electronic Sports Games event kicked off yesterday at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Center, China. The LAN finals event is the last part in the race for the whopping $1.5 million prize pool. A total of 24 teams have managed to secure their place in the final stage after nearly five months of gruelling regional qualifiers. However, it’s not all about the money as the tournament marks a historic moment in the Dota 2 competitive circuit. The WESG is currently the only event to offer over a million USD prize pool to teams formed exclusively from five players of the same nation. The full weekend schedule can be found here, while the event can watched over on Twitch.

StarCraft II: World Electronic Sports Games

StarCraft II also has a fairly hefty prize pool up for grabs in China this week. The WESG will be giving out $402,000 in StarCraft prizes, which is considerably less than some of the others games, but it’s still a substantial sum. The quarterfinals start today at 22:00 PST / 07:00 CET, while the semifinals begin tomorrow at 19:00 PST / 04:00 CET. You can watch all the action over on Twitch.

CS:GO: World Electronic Sports Games

CS:GO also kicked off its group stage last night and will resume today. The quarterfinals start tomorrow, while the semi-finals and the grand final will be taking place on the same day, January 15th. There has already be an unexpected surprise as the Swedish CS:GO team GODSENT will no longer be attending the WESG grand final. GODSENT were set to compete against teams such as Signature, Team Kinguin, Space Soldiers, Bravado Gaming, and FIVE eSports Club before they bowed out. The full weekend schedule can be found here, while the event can watched over on Twitch.

Hearthstone: World Electronic Sports Games

Counter Logic Gaming is set to be the favourite for this year’s title, as North American esports organisation welcomed Sebastian “Xixo” Bentert to their roster on Tuesday. His most difficult opponent will likely be fellow European player Liam “Lbdutchboy” Brouwer from the Netherlands.  Xixo was the highest ranked Hearthstone player on the GosuGamers ladder last year, as he won the StarSeries Season 2 and defeated Jon “Orange” Westberg in the European WESG qualifiers. Make sure to check the WESG Facebook page to find the latest schedule times and streams.

League of Legends: EU Challenger Series qualifiers

League of Legends fans can tune into the European Challenger Series qualifiers today as the 12 teams from France, Spain, Germany and the UK as well as Fnatic Academy, will battle out for the final two spots in the EU Challenger Series 2017 Spring Split. The finals will be best-of-five series, with the winner of each advancing to the EU CS Spring Split. Games will be played on patch 6.24 and the tournament will be played under the old six-ban rules rather than the new 10-ban ones. Play kicks off today at 08:00 PST / 17:00 CET, while the playoffs start at the same time on Sunday. The event can be watched over on LoL Esports

Product Update - Valve
- Updated the Moon Shard change to be a visual buff to not reveal illusions, rather than carrying over the actual bonus to illusions.
- Fixed a bug when moving aura granting items from the backpack to the ground.
- Fixed a bug which allowed Techies' Mines to be auto attacked without being clicked upon.
- Fixed a the shop search hotkey to now automatically select the search text.
- Chat no longer loses focus when clicking in the world.
Product Update - Valve
- Fixed a bug which prevented illusions from copying a consumed moon shard.
- Fixed a bug where denying Arc Warden's Tempest Double was giving bounty gold.
- Fixed the HUD cursor switching back to the dashboard cursor when the mouse was over certain HUD elements.
- Shrines will now show their heal radius when Alt is held down until the healing ability completes.
Product Update - Valve
- Fixed CTRL Clicking on certain units not selecting them all.
- Added “Quick Move” option to settings.
- Fix a bug where Monkey King soldiers and Arc Warden Tempest Doubles were not being created if the player was disconnected.
- Fixed bug in unit-specific keybinds. When you bound an action to a key, previous actions bound to that key would not be unbound.
- Smart double tap in Legacy Key mode now works for the correct keys for Invoker’s invoked spells (such as alacrity's "Z") instead of "D" or "F" depending on the slot.
- Fixed the ping and fps display in 4x3 aspect ratios.
- Fixed Shop overlapping Stash bug.
- Fixed KDA overlapping Meepo, Lone Druid and Arc Warden multiunit portraits.
- Fixed item purchasing blocking mouse clicks.
- Fixed several tooltip issues.
- Fixed spectator dropdowns grabbing input focus while closed.
- Players no longer display "has connected to to the game" in chat at the start of hero selection.
- Rich presense is now correctly cleared or restored when changing the Offline setting in Steam friends.
- Fixed some chat notifications not appearing for spectators (such as rune pickups)
- Fixed ARDM to display respawns remaining instead of kill count on the top bar.
- Ability Draft: Heroes' picked abilities now show up in a tooltip when hovering over their top bar hero icon.
- Fixed Dota icon in Linux desktop notifications.
- Added Mac and Linux notifications for pause/unpause, party and lobby invitations.
- Normalized volume for voice chat.
– SFM: Fixed game recording.
Product Update - Valve
- Fixed a bug with the interaction between Helm of the Dominator and Tusk's Snowball.
Product Update - Valve
- Fixed a problem with ranked matchmaking that was causing longer than normal wait times for some very high skill players.
- Increased the timeout for players connecting to a game - from 20 seconds to 30 seconds.
- Fixed a bug which prevented Alt+clicking items on enemy couriers.
- Added tooltip text for Necrophos's Ghost Shroud effect.
- Fixed an audio volume issue with Sniper's Assassinate and Aghanim's Scepter.
- Fixed a display issue with in-world item tooltips.
- Fixed the position of the Dire Secret Shop on the minimap in the Learn Items tab.
PC Gamer

At the end of an intense weekend of Dota 2 Digital Chaos took the grand prize at ESL One Genting in the mountains of Malaysia, the first-ever LAN win for the squad. The team took home $125,000 for the victory, while runner-up team Newbee, hailing from China, ended their own impressive run with $50,000. 

Each player beamed with excitement as they stood together with the trophy. MoonMeander barely had words as the stage host asked how he felt. It was their first LAN tournament victory, a massive milestone given how close the TI6 challengers came to holding title before losing to Wings in the grand final.

Reso1ution even grabbed the mic to brag. “Our first tournament! Woo!”“We won Saksa a LAN, guys!” joked MiSeRy, the captain and one of the support players. “First LAN win ever, guys! Congratulations!” 

As a last word to the venue, Reso1ution made his feelings clear for the enthused crowd: “I love you!” And because a winner can’t be excited enough, he added again— “Woo!”

 The victory came after an intense series versus Chinese team Newbee that spanned the full best of five, including a 51-minute match two taken by DC. Both teams were seen as strong contenders going into the matchup, with Newbee’s relatively fresh blood seemingly tapped out and DC’s full potential being similarly exposed after each suffered rough runs at the Boston Major. Aside from the strength of the finalists, competition was tight for every team going into the tournament.

CIS favorite Virtus Pro was predicted as a reliably strong pick at the beginning of the event. They were looked upon as a mid-game powerhouse, spawning an aggressive meta after winning The Summit in November that other teams picked up into later tournaments. Unfortunately, the team dropped to the lower bracket, tried to fight through, and were eventually defeated by the versatile, soon-to-be champions DC in an action-packed semifinals matchup.

The semis between Chinese rivals Newbee and Wings were nothing to shake a finger at as each team kept their eyes on big late-game plays. Newbee stomped their national rivals in a short first game, but Wings had to be dragged out kicking after winning the second game. The teams went back and forth in tense and exciting second and third maps that brought the ticker over 45 minutes. Ultimately, in a final game, Newbee held control of the map despite a Wings draft, including Broodmother, that attempted to do otherwise.

Malaysia had its eyes on Fnatic, a local team recently featured in Valve’s documentary True Sight during their failed fight through the Boston Major qualifiers. Led by veteran Mushi after an anxious post-Major shuffle, the team sadly fell through both the group stages and losers bracket after losing to, respectively, VP and Canadian fan favorite NP.

Also representing the locality were Execration from the Philippines and WP.Unity from Malaysia, both of which won their respective local qualifiers. Execration likely had a bone to pick with WP.Unity, as the Filipino squad took second to WP in the SEA Kappa invitational cup in December. After a strong three matches, Execration eliminated their local rivals, though they fell to Wings in the next round.

NP remained a crowd favorite despite losing to VP in the quarterfinals. After losing to the eventual 2nd place winners in the group stage, they showed potential after wiping out Fnatic 2-0 in the first Bo3. Unfortunately, VP gave the same treatment. The team still got a lot of love from its fans due to the team's openness about its everyday life (including its affinity for anime, as the team lists its MyAnimeList links on its homepage). For instance, MSS shared his experience with food culture after buying “Sky Juice”—meaning water (“juice” taken from the sky, meaning rain). The incident became an inside joke throughout the event and its segments.

Beyond the rivalries and memes, there was no shortage of interesting drafts during the event. Meepo was drafted not once, but three times: once at a loss for none other than DC’s w33ha, famous for his “w33po” gameplay; another time victoriously for the Filipino Execration player Gabbi, against local rival WG.Unity; and finally for Newbee’s uuu9, in a winning game against Wings.

Every pub's favorite hook-thrower Pudge was picked five times by four different teams with varying results. In alignment with Wings’ reputation for unusual picks, they attempted to win with Broodmother in their third semifinal match against Newbee, unfortunately to no avail. Overall, 63 heroes were picked throughout the tournament, which is a great sign: every match was gripping for spectators.

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