Forward Gaming Disbands on the TI9 Eve: What to Expect from Them?
The Forward Gaming e-sports organization doesn’t exist anymore. All its players became free agents since July 21st. Managers can’t pay them their July salaries and $36,000 prize money, which was given as the June salary. The organization told players about financial troubles before the EPICENTER Major 2019 event and was looking for new financial sources, but failed to complete the task.
Forward Gaming was founded in September 2018. In July 2019, the Dota 2 team of the organization qualified to The International 2019. So, while everyone else looks how to bet on Dota 2, The International, or prepare to play there, former Forward Gaming players face incredible difficulties.
The former Forward Gaming manager Jack KBBQ Chen was told about the most urgent plans for the Dota 2 team. As he said, players would continue playing together and planned to try finding a sponsor to reach The International 2019 in Shanghai.
New Sponsors: Newbee
Players found their sponsors. Head managers of Newbee messaged about signing former Forward Gaming Dota 2 players a couple of days after. The team of Johan “pieliedie” Ostrem will represent the Chinese club on the home The International 2019.
The announcement published in Facebook didn’t clarify the duration of the new contract. Community members predicted it to be a “single-time move” for one tournament. The original Newbee roster officially remains in the organization, but can be changed with the beginning of a new season.
As rumors allowed to predict, Newbee spent nearly $100,000 to sign former Forward Gaming players and to represent their sponsors on the Dota 2 TI9. According to the agreement, players won’t share prize money with the club.
Some other organizations, including Chinese ones, were interested in signing former players of Forward Gaming. The Newbee CEO Tong Sing spoke about that in Weibo.
Newbee considers the possibility to prolong contracts with their new players after The International 2019. They also remarked that the relevant team tag will continue serving the Chinese roster, which will play for Newbee again after TI9.
Although Newbee is a Chinese organization, it will represent North America during The International. The Chinese roster won’t have any connection to the American one.
The Chinese Newbee roster took the sixth place during The International qualifications and didn’t make it to the Shanghai LAN finals.
The Season-Long Reshuffle
The former Forward Gaming team, which lost the organization’s support right after their qualification, is one of the youngest rosters on TI9. Gathered from former VGJ.Storm players, the team participated in most of big tournaments by qualifications.
The Dota 2 season always ends with a chain of reshuffles, kicks, and disbands. The fact was true for VGJ.Storm in September 2018, too. Players left the organization: “Sneyking” moved to Complexity Gaming, YawaR, Resoluion, MSS, and SVG became the core of a new Forward Gaming team. UNiVeRsE became the fifth player after coming back to North America. Together with Fnatic, he failed to perform well during The International 2018.
VGJ.Storm players notified their team won’t stay with the organization during the 2018/2019 DPC season during TI8. The team was exclusively prospective and many clubs wanted to get players, including OpTic, gaming. But they made an agreement only with Forward Gaming.
Forward Gaming was stably making it to big events, but not taking high places there.
Since September 2018 until March 2019, the team participated in such tournaments as: The Kuala Lumpur Major (9-12 place), ESL One Hamburg 2018 (7-8 place), MegaFon Winter Clash (5-6 place), The Chongqing Major (13-16 place), ESL One Katowice 2019 (9-10 place), DreamLeague Season 11 (13-16 place).
The team fell apart after the DreamLeague failure. On March 24, UNiVeRsE and SVG left the team. Resolut1on went inactive and skipped the upcoming Major. CCnC, Sneyking, and Kitrak helped the team to close their gaps.
With this roster, Forward Gaming took the fourth place in regional qualifications and failed to qualify to MDL Disneyland Paris Major as a result. After the performance on the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 (5-6 place), the team exchanged Kitrak with pieliedie. It is the relevant team roster for The International 2019:
Got Some Experience
Since the moment it was founded until June 2019, Forward Gaming earned $102,510 in prize money. The main part of these funds was earned on Major events. Yes, the team got $15,000 on The Kuala Lumpur Major, $10,000 on The Chongqing Major and DreamLeague Season 11 events, and $15,000 on the EPICENTER Major 2019.
Among all the season results, it is worth noting the 7-8 place on ESL One Hamburg 2018 and a victory on Qi Invitational America.
Not Original But Reliable
The 2018/2019 season was complicated for the team, but its members demonstrated their character and wish to win more than once. During closed The International 2019 qualifications in North America, Forward played in 10 series and on 15 maps. Despite having tough opponents, the team took first place. They lost only one grand-final map to J.Storm. As a result, their qualification statistics include 10-0 in series and 14-1 in maps.
The most popular heroes to pick in qualifications for Forward Gaming were Chen, Ember Spirit, and Omniknight. Each of these characters was either picked or banned by Forward Gaming.
Best results: Beastmaster, Ember Spirit, and Death Prophet. During the last six months, Beastmaster, Vengeful Spirit, Troll Warlord, Ember Spirit, and Dark Seer brought the most victories to the team (among heroes picked 10 times or more).
Forward Gaming players prefer aggressive drafts and quick pushing strategies. Among 15 maps, only two of them were longer than 40 minutes. The rest finished in 30 minutes or earlier. Players don’t try to come up with something unexpected or to wow opponents. They build their drafts on heroes checked by the meta with the addition of their personal concepts. For instance, not all teams use Beastmaster and Vengeful Spirit.
Can Forward Gaming (Newbee.US) Wonder Bettors and Upset Odds
Forward Gaming is successful in regional qualifications, but always face problems during main events. The team qualified to four out of five major tournaments this season, but failed to reach higher than the ninth place in the finals. The only competition they won was the Qi Invitational America. It was a regional event, not accounted in the DPC system.
One of the reasons for such a poor performance is obvious. Forward Gaming lacks practice of playing against Tier One teams. In North America, Evil Geniuses are the best. Additionally, high pings don’t allow Forward Gaming to play with other top teams.
Forward Gaming was the team that looked good against local American clubs, but failed versus Tier Two and Tier Onecrews from other regions (a defeat from Gambit on WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness, and from Pavaga Gaming on LOOT.BET Winter Masters).
The team has a prospective roster, but the level of players can’t be compared with other The International 2019 participants for now, except Infamous. Most probably, Forward Gaming (Newbee.US) will share the 17-18 places on The International 2019 with this team from Peru.