“Gothenburg, Sweden – November 29th, 2017 – Alliance is pleased to announce a new Dota 2 roster.” This is how the new chapter in Alliance’s existence began. After all the Swedish TI3 old gods decided one by one that it’s time to hand the torch over to a new generation of players and after a couple of years of struggles to stay relevant in the competitive scene, Alliance was reborn.
Half a year later, Jonathan “Loda” Berg took all the responsibilities on himself, he hung the mouse, focused on the business development of his organization and on nurturing the four players he hand-picked, players he was confident that “want to be a part of something that is bigger than any one of them individually; to create something that will be more than the sum of all of them combined,” as he stated in the press release from the 27th of November, 2017. He announced his retirement from the professional play and introduced Max “qojqva” Bröcker to the team. The roster change also meant that Michael “miCKe” Vu would embrace the carry role, while qojqva was taking the mid duties.
Alliance’s line-up hasn’t suffered any changes since then, despite the fact that they had to wait for about one year to see the first results. Loda’s instincts and experience as a professional player helped him to develop the new recruits not only as Dota 2 players, but also as individuals. He wanted them to become true members of the Alliance family and he succeeded on all accounts. To be totally fair, the foundation was already there. The four youngsters had a shared history together from the times when they were playing Heroes of Newerth.
Alliance roster for TI9:
- Michael “miCKe” Vu
- Max “qojqva” Bröcker
- Samuel “Boxi” Svahn
- Tommy “Taiga” Le
- Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi
- coach: Jonathan “Loda” Berg
“After playing together for so long we built some sort of trust in each other, and when you trust your teammates everything else becomes easier. We don’t second guess ourselves, even if we make a small mistake, we know we can work through it,” iNSaNiA, the Alliance captain, told us at the beginning of the season when we met him at ESL One Hamburg. He and miCKe joined Alliance in 2017, but they have been playing together for over six years now, and they are people who value the relationships they built with their teammates before anything else. The new Alliance is very similar with the stellar line-up from TI3, Loda has done a very good job in creating something special within the team and, slowly but surely, he reached the long term target, qualify for TI9. The road to Shanghai, China wasn’t easy and in fact, nothing was certain until the very last Major on the Dota Pro Circuit, EPICENTER.
Having to fight their way to the DPC tournaments via the European region qualifiers was a blessing in disguise for Alliance. They always had to beat one of the big four teams in the region, Secret, Liquid, OG, NiP to avoid the Minors. They haven’t managed to do just that in all the Majors qualifiers, but the high level of competition they were playing against every month only helped them to get better. Ahead of the last Major of the season Alliance had just 279 DPC points and they lost the regional qualifier for EPICENTER to OG. Fortunately, the last Minor sent the top two teams to the Major, an exception from the rule made by Valve. Alliance placed second after a thrilling battle against Ninjas in Pyjamas on the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor and had their final chance at making to TI9 via Dota Pro Circuit rankings. Arrived in Moscow, Russia, they need a top six finish and Gambit Esports, who were in the same situation, happened to be their adversaries in that deciding series for a trip to TI9. The battle was held on the EPICENTER main event stage, in front of a Gambit’s home crowd, but Alliance kept their composure and took down the CIS team 2-0 to finally return to The International stage after two years of absence.
A month ahead of TI9 they accepted to play in Dota Summit 10, a non DPC tournament where no other teams attending this year’s The International went. Nonetheless, the event featured several teams that were runner-ups in the TI qualifiers and it most likely made for a good practice ground for the young roster, who took the trophy and are now looking forward to the TI group stage drawings, preparing to write their TI history in the Alliance’s history books.
TI9 team profiles:
Infamous, the ever Morphling roster
Na’Vi, the rejuvenated Ancient Apparition
Virtus.pro, the Storm Spirit of CIS
Fnatic – The Troll Warlord with a twist
TNC Predator, the Undying hope of SEA
Mineski, the rising Phoenix of Southeast Asia
Evil Geniuses – Sven on a cliff
Team Liquid, the Enigma of the season
OG, the Monkey Kings
Ninjas in Pyjamas, the menacing Meepo