Newbee secures playoff berth against Game Talents

The League of Legends crowd makes some noise with thunder sticks. Provided by Riot Games

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Newbee secured a playoff spot during Week 10, Day 4 of the League of Legends Pro League Spring Split, displaying excellent shot-calling as it took a 2-1 series win over Game Talents on Sunday in Shanghai.

Game Talents (4-12, 11-27 match record), who was already locked into the promotion tournament, was dominated in the bottom lane as Newbee AD carry Rui "Happy" Yu's Ashe and support Zhang "Mor" Hong-Wei's Zyra pushed them in, leading to an early tower kill. NB took a 4-to-0 kill advantage and two early turrets, but, instead of simply playing slowly and taking its time to cultivate its advantages, Newbee tried to force plays, allowing GT to make picks and hang around. GT's mid laner Tae "Republic" Bong-guen was strong on Viktor, but the game was lost for Game Talents when mid laner Shin "Coco" Jin-yeong's Taliyah deleted Republic in a messy teamfight. From there, NB easily transitioned into breaking the Nexus for the Game 1 win.

In Game 2, GT took Rengar away from Newbee jungler Daehoon"Swift" Baek, giving its jungler Jian "Xiaoyu" Liang the jungle cat. Newbee (6-10, 18-24 match record) looked to gain another early advantage in the bot lane, but took too long to make a play before Xiaoyu was in position to counterattack, leading to a 3-for-2 for GT and a triple kill for Xiaoyu. Additionally, Game Talents top laner Kim "GimGoon" Han-saem's Fizz sliced and dashed through Newbee, maintaining a massive gold advantage throughout the game. GT was confident in playing fast with its assassin-heavy composition, securing a victory in 30 minutes as NB never recovered from the early deficit.

Game 3 featured Newbee once again struggling to capitalize on winning the early game. Newbee were uncertain heading into the later stages of the game, half-heartedly sieging turrets and baiting Baron attempts before ultimately backing off without accomplishing anything. In the end, Newbee's strategy of waiting for Game Talents to make mistakes proved fruitful as NB was finally able to take a lead after an awkward teamfight win. After falling behind, GT lost all confidence and proceeded to get steamrolled in late game. Newbee set up a beautiful flank around the Baron pit to secure an ace in a prolonged team fight en route to a series-clinching Baron buff push.

Newbee will next be in the playoffs as the fourth seed from Group B. GT will next appear in the promotion tournament where they will have to fight to stay in the LPL.