Newbee received earlier this week a lifetime ban from the major Chinese tournament organizers. All their five players, including the TI winner Zeng “Faith” Hongda and the TI finalist Xu “Moogy” Han are now blocked from playing in any Imba TV, Mars Media or Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association tournaments. Newbee’s mid lane player Yin “Aq” Rui was just at the beginning of his professional career when the ban came and it might have cost him everything.
This past Saturday, May 16, Aq published a series of screenshots from a conversation he had with Team Aster’s manager Yang “tou” Lin who seems to have actually tried to save his career at the beginning of April by attempting to take him out of the Newbee squad before the match fixing investigation results would have been announced.
According to Aq, he was summoned to a hearing on Friday, but he doesn’t go into details about what the discussion was about or who the parties that called him to the hearing are. His post starts with an apology to the fans and his teammates as he explains he was the one to be fooled by the Team Aster manager who tried to recruit him at the youth squad of Aster.
“I didn’t expect the esports circle to be so dark. I think I was deceived, sorry dudes, but there’s something I have to say. Aster’s manager, Tou started to contact me and asked me to join Aster since April 5th. They didn’t reach an agreement with Newbee, so Aster promised to let me join them by avoiding my contract with Newbee and said they’d teach me how to do it step by step. Last night I went to a hearing, and I didn’t expect it to turn out like this. Now I’m like a bastard for both sides. I’m just very sorry. I shouldn’t have listened to people outside of the team…I feel terrible now. I hope you can forgive me.”
Aq’s wording, “the esports circle is dark”, “I was deceived” suggests that the situation is much more complex and that Team Aster’s manager might have had a hidden agenda when he tried to get him out of the Newbee house back in April. A way of interpretation of the whole mess would be to assume that the Team Aster manager tried to secure a win-win scenario for the organization he works for by taking Aq from Newbee and convince him to expose the match fixing, thus saving his career and eventually pay a smaller transaction fee for him. However, the back and forth discussions took too long and when Aq got lifetime banned, Yang “tou” Lin didn’t want to take him anymore, making him look bad in the eyes of the fans and his teammates.
However, with no context provided by Aq and no official comments coming from Team Aster or from their manager, the screenshots alone only show a conversation that took place at the beginning of April, when Aq was given a chance to stay in the clear.
Translation provided by Blair Zheng.
Aq: So tomorrow, should I pretend nothing happened and just play DOTA at our base?
tou: If you are really bothered by this, then just leave tomorrow morning; or go home when the League have decided to postpone Newbee’s match. I’ll teach you what to say.
tou: I checked the schedule and your match tomorrow is at 7PM. I can confirm with you that this match is postponed. We definitely won’t let Newbee play since tomorrow.
Aq: If they don’t know we are not going to play tomorrow, I don’t know how to tell my leader that I need to go home today.
tou: You can tell your leader you have an emergency, and that you won’t play tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
Aq: Okay, noted.
tou: When the League makes the announcement, tell them that you heard about it from someone else. Then tell them that the truth was that you knew about the match fixing and you felt upset, so you went home. And then, ask them what to do and how can you prove yourself. Negotiate with the team online.
Aq: Okay. We have a match tomorrow and I can’t leave. Should I tell them about this tomorrow morning?
tou: Just find an excuse and leave first.
Aq: Where should I go?
tou: There should be a room in our youth team. The main team don’t have enough room for the moment. I’ll see how can I arrange it.
Aq: Or, should I go home?
tou: It’s okay. It’s also easier to tell.
tou: If we can find loopholes in your contract with Newbee, then we can defend against Newbee.
Aq: I think it’s hard for me to join Aster. Newbee may ask you for a huge amount of money. I don’t think I’m worth it.
tou: We’ve talked to Caomei and the price’s ¥1.6m.
Aq: It’s already much.
tou: I’ll talk to our boss and see how we can do it.
tou: Do your teammates know about this?
Aq: They are all practicing at the base. They didn’t say anything to me.
tou: Are you willing to leave directly?
Aq: What do you mean?
tou: Come to our youth team base, we’ll find a place for you.