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Credit: Valve

TI4 Champions: Newbee – Where are they now?


Personally speaking, The International 2014 grand finals was the most boring one that I’ve ever had the opportunity to witness.

Nonetheless, we are not here for personal griefing, are we?

TI4 featured the reigning champions, Alliance, trying to defend their throne against the mighty Chinese, namely, Team DK, Newbee, Invictus Gaming, LGD Gaming and Vici Gaming.

However, it was the Newbee show – from the depths of hell and on the brink of being eliminated in the group stage, to winning the crown jewel and claiming the bragging rights. It was all predestined.

Note: Newbee as an organisation has been permanently banned from all Valve events for match-fixing in January 2021.

Let’s find out what the TI4 champs are up to these days.

Chen "Hao" Zhihao

Image: ESL

Hao came to prominence for one reason – his glorifying blonde hair.

Jokes aside, he quickly emerged as one of the most promising carries during that era and featured prominently on elite Chinese teams such as IG, TongFu, Vici Gaming, Newbee, etc.

Post winning TI4, Hao’s career started to spiral downwards, and eventually, he faded to oblivion during the end of 2017.

As of now, he sometimes plays for the veteran stack of Old Boys, but that’s about it. As good as enjoying retirement.

Zhang "Mu" Pan

Image: Valve

Mu was well known for his high risk, high reward, yet calculated, playstyle in the mid lane. The Hao-Mu combo was well known for its camaraderie.

For most of his career, Mu played for TongFu and Newbee alongside Hao and hung his boots in 2016 – calling it quits on a glorious career.

Like Hao, Mu makes guest appearances on Old Boys from time to time.

Zhang "xiao8" Ning

Image: Valve

The legendary captain that spearheaded Newbee’s TI4 win is known by many names; director, dictator, mastermind, etc., for one simple reason – his ability to draft the weirdest of heroes and make them work.

After winning TI4, xiao8 went back to play for his former home, LGD Gaming, but his career as a pro player seemed to be over by 2017.

2018 onwards, xiao8 assumed coaching duties and coached EHOME for two years before joining PSG.LGD and guiding the players to secure a second-place finish at TI10.

Currently, he’s continuing the coach role at PSG.LGD.

Wang "Banana" Jiao

Image: ESL

Banana is a member of the first generation Chinese Dota players and has been instrumental in Newbee’s TI4 win.

After winning TI4, banana hung his boots and switched to coaching and has since then coached LGD, Newbee and Royal Never Give Up.

As of now, he’s inactive on all fronts.

Wang "SanSheng" Zhaohui

Image: OS

Like most Newbee players, Sansheng played alongside Hao, Mu, Banana from TongFu days and later went on to join Newbee and secure The International 2014 trophy.

In 2015, he retired from competitive play to coach and commentate but returned to active play in 2019, albeit briefly, before deciding to hang his boots for good.

He has since then coached Newbee, Serenity, and is an online presence in Chinese broadcasts from time to time.