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Newbee wins $5 million, the 2014 championship and redefines Dota 2's metagame

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There's a new champion in Seattle and Newbee will redefine the game in doing so.

There's an old tired phrase in sports that says "It's not how you start, but how you finish." This phrase encompasses the core ideals of Chinese Dota in the international metagame. One that preaches patience over aggression, long games and slow grinds. Then Newbee came along, redefining those ideals and they are now The International 2014 champions as a result.

One of the core tenets of Dota is that games are often won in the draft. This notion proved to be accurate in the best- of-five series between Newbee and ViCi Gaming. After shaking off some dust Newbee asserted their will over their competition with near-perfect selections and bans that took ViCi out of their comfort zone. It resulted in the runners-up continually beating their heads against a steel wall, picking the same heroes over and over despite having failed results.

When the third game began it was clear ViCi were desperate. Their picks lacked a lot of reason, hoping to overwhelm Newbee with aggression before being beaten at their own game by a balanced lineup. ViCi will be devastated and will pore over the film to see where they went wrong, but there's no question the best team won at The International.

Remember that phrase "It's not how you start, but how you finish?" That was perfectly indicative of Newbee's tournament as a whole. Following the group stage it looked like they barely belonged on the main stage, carrying a 7-8 record into Phase Three. Then the light came on. Outside of the best-of-one format they shined through, showing that compliments of their preparation were perfectly awarded.

Newbee fought their way out of the lower bracket, stormed through the upper and had a three-day rest to study the field and prepare for their opponents. When ViCi arrived to face them they were the hot team, but Newbee were coiled like a viper and waiting.

We're left with the biggest Grand Final stomp in The International history, failing to even scratch the grand drama Na'Vi and Alliance caused on the stage in 2013 when they fought a five-game slug fest.

In their wake Newbee has shattered the expectations of what Chinese Dota means.

In their wake Newbee has shattered the expectations of what Chinese Dota means. They won through aggression, early rotations and quick ganks -- a far cry from the typical defensive one-hour games seen out of the Chinese scene. ViCi will have some soul searching, and rOtk will be particularly hard on himself for a lack of successful drafting and execution.

Now Newbee will need to avoid The International hangover that hit Alliance so hard in 2013. Teams all around the world will be studying their game and preparing to take them down a peg, and it will be fun to see how they respond.