eSports

Dota 2: A Comeback To The Top — Alliance

Alliance have lived up to their legacy of being a premier team in Dota 2.

Alliance’s rise to become one of the top teams in Europe is an inspiring journey. From holding the bottom part of The International 9’s table to becoming second in all of Europe, Alliance have shown that they mean business.

Although 2020 wasn’t a stable year for many teams, Alliance looked a solid team and the only side challenging the likes of Team Secret, who’ve had a stable squad and experienced lineup for a while now.

The Low

Alliance’s run in TI 9, Dota 2’s greatest event of the year, was short-lived. A roster including most players from the current Team Liquid lineup failed to perform. The team had experienced players like Max “qojqva” Bröcker and Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi. Following their defeat against Royal Never Give Up and an early exit from TI, Alliance faced a major rebuild of their squad.

New Squad

Image: DreamHack/Alex Maxwell

In October 2019, Alliance announced its new squad. Led by Adrian “Fata” Trinks, the new squad had Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov, Linus “Limmp” Blomdin, Neta “33” Shapira and Simon “Handsken” Haag as players who would compete in the upcoming DreamLeague Season 12. As expected from such an experienced and well-balanced side, Alliance won the DreamLeague after a convincing win against Demon Slayers in the grand finals.

The next month saw Alliance having a run in the MDL Chengdu Major. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t win against TNC in the upper bracket and were forced to compete in the lower bracket. Their journey in the Chengdu Major came to a halt after they faced the old roster of Alliance in the form of Team Liquid.

The start of 2020 marked the beginning of The Leipzig Major. Alliance competed in the upper bracket of the tournament, winning their first game against Natus Vincere. After a cruel defeat against Secret, Alliance had to compete in the lower bracket. EG being in top form faced Alliance and won against them proceeding to the finals.

Also Read: Singapore Major Preview

Roster Change and Break

The conclusion of an upsetting Major and some disappointing performances in previous competitions for Alliance led to eminent roster changes. On March 31, 2020,  33 and captain Fata left the team to join mudgolems. Their departure meant Alliance had to recruit experienced players to anchor the team together. The organization recruited Gustav “s4” Magnusson from EG in April 2020. Later in September, they signed Artsiom “fng” Barshak from Gambit Esports on loan.

While the roster shuffles were going on, the global pandemic brought the entire esports scene to a halt. The professional scene of Dota was in a rut until Valve announced its plans for the upcoming DPC Season and TI 10.

The unpredictable future and cancellation of major competitions seemed like a boon in disguise for Alliance. With fresh additions, the team needed some time to settle and that’s just what the pandemic offered them. Although there were professional matches being conducted, the pressure of majors was off.

Also Read: Predictions For ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021

Start Of A New Chapter

The drop in intensity; thanks to the pandemic, gave esports organizations the green signal to conduct tournaments. Which meant with the start of DreamLeague Season 14, Alliance could go all out.

The team, led by S4, did incredibly well in the fresh season of DPC. Losing only to Nigma and Secret, Alliance came second in the standings. Their splendid performances in the competition meant the Swedish team would compete in the group stages of the Singapore Major 2021.

The High

After a bumpy ride throughout the 2019-20 period, the current success of Alliance surely puts them in position to challenge for the later stages of the Major. They have lots of experience with players like S4 and older players of the team like Nikobaby who have already tasted victory with the Alliance. The unpredictability of matches in dota coupled with some good fate may see Alliance the champions in Singapore.

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