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It was a glorious first day for Alliance at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. Their matches brought back a lot of memories to those who follow the scene since the early days.

Game three between Alliance and Winstrike was the highlight of the day for sure, but what did one of the greatest analytical minds in Dota 2 think about the entire action unfolding in the Cybersport Arena from Kiev, Ukraine?

Although the first day ended after midnight, Alan “Nahaz” Bester was kind enough to stay a bit longer in the arena and talk to Taras Bortnik, our special reporter at the event. Here’s what professor Nahaz had to say about the teams in Group A and their performance on day one.


What are your impressions at the end of the first day at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor?

I really enjoyed the first day here. Alliance got taken to the limit, but still delivered on day one. They are probably one of the teams that has the most pressure on them overall and they advanced to the winner bracket.

Have your expectations been met by reality?

Yes. I had Alliance as the best team in Group A. This EHOME squad isn’t the same EHOME that we saw early on the season, at the Majors. They haven’t looked as clean strategically in the last couple of months and I think Alliance are back at their full power, they’ve been playing most of the season with the stand-in even right before the Minor, in Birmingham. They are back with their complete roster and I expected them to do well at this event.

Today we’ve seen 3 full bo3 series. Which one is your favorite?

I think the second one was pretty cool. Alliance against Winstrike, especially the third game. I was watching the game with Loda and Synderen – two guys that have been playing Dota for 15 years and all three of us were like ‘Have you ever seen a Lone Druid literally walk all the way across the map to take down the throne through backdoor?’ And none of us have seen something like that before.

What do you think of Winstrike? Did they show a good performance?

Obviously the roster is changed, but three of them and the coach are from the original squad from the EPICENTER last year. This is clearly a team that has some talents and at the same time I also think that they have one player in Cooman who doesn’t have the kind of high level pro experience that the rest of the team have. You could see some of his mistakes, particularly in the first and third game, but talent is clearly there.

From the rest of the teams in Group A, who is going to make it to the playoffs?

EHOME has to be the favorite. I do think Winstrike will be upgraded and move on and I think they can give EHOME a serious challenge, but they are going to need to avoid the kind of 1v1 mistakes that we’ve seen today.

Bold predictions for Group B?

Tough group. It’s hard to say what gear NiP are gonna be in to start the event. I really think CoL and Mineski along with Alliance may be the most motivated teams. They are looking at the past three Minors and teams which advanced to the Majors through the Minors and then finished in the top-6. If one of these teams will do the same, they will be at TI 100%. I have a good feeling that Mineski or compLexity will step up their game here, but then again, both of these teams have been so up and down through this DPC season, so it’s hard to tell which one.

They both arrived late here, do you think this might have an impact on their performance?

All of these guys are pro players, they all have an experience of how to play under pressure and they’ve all done it before. That is just a matter of routine for the teams.

MVP of the day?

I was very tempted to go for Boxi, but I’ll go with InsaiNia. He had a very good drafting day and oh boy…. game two of their first series and then almost losing game three… man, those games were just so disheartening, it’s a real mental checking.


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