Alliance: The Redemption of the Fallen Kings
The million dollar Dream Coil, the undefeatable Lone Druid, and the swift movements of Io, all these treasurable moments of Alliance at TI3 almost sound like a myth for new players and spectators of DotA 2. After winning TI3, from placing 11th-12th at TI4, to not even qualifying for TI5, Alliance’s performance have been going downhill.
Since their downfall at TI3, it seems like the biggest argument within the DotA 2 community has been “Is [A] back?” because every time they’ve shown signs of recovery, the results ended up being a disappointment instead. As the Frankfurt Major approaches, this question once again bids answering.
The glory of the Alliance in 2013
- 1st: The Premiere League Season 4
- 1st: G-1 Champions League Season 5
- 1st: DreamHack Summer
- 1st: Star Ladder Star Series Season 6
- 1st: The Premier League Season 5
- 1st: The International 3
- 2nd: Star Ladder Star Series Season 7
- 2nd: WePlay Dota2League Season 2
- 3rd: ASUS ROG DreamLeague
- 1st: Fragbite Masters
The truth is, Alliance’s recent performance have been rather outstanding. Although they fell short at the Summit 4 European qualifiers, they subsequently qualified for two premium events – the Frankfurt Major and World Cyber Arena 2015. So what led to the comeback of the Swedish giants?
After TI5, Alliance retrieved their captain of the TI3 winning squad – s4. The addition of s4 proved to be a huge confidence booster for Alliance. According to the Gosugamers database, Alliance’s win rate went from an abysmal 33% in May to 68% in October.
Why is s4 such a key player for Alliance?
The roster difference between pre-TI5 Alliance and the present Alliance is the exclusion of Pajkatt and 7ckingmad. Although Pajkatt brought along with him intricate mechanical plays and 7ckingmad offered world class captaining capabilities, there were no tempo controller for the squad. Pajkatt is known for his incredible mechanical skills, but he lacked the stability and macro game sense s4 has. With a stable tempo controller like s4, Loda can focus more on his own plays and increase his farming efficiency. Another factor is Admiralbulldog.
In the most recent patch, it is evidential that the offlane player often needed more resources compared with 6.84. Heroes like Dark Seer, Broodmother, and Doom have become much more viable compared with the previous popularity of tempo-based offlane heroes like Clockwerk. For those who have witnessed the glory of Alliance at TI3, they would be familiar with the strength of Bulldog on similar heroes such as Lone Druid and Furion. As a result, the patch has become much more favorable for Alliance.
The return of an all-Swedish squad
Another notable difference of Alliance is the return of an all-Swedish squad. Loda has stressed the importance of a unified nationality within the team. This was one of the proclaimed reasons to kick Eternalenvy from the team before TI3. Although Eternalenvy displayed his capabilities of a world-class player as early as 2013, Loda denied his further membership on Alliance due to nationality differences. But with the recent addition of s4, Mynuts, and their substitute player Pablo, Alliance is once again a full Swedish team.
Although Alliance has hinted a full recovery from their slump before TI5, they are definitely not the favorites walking into the Frankfurt Major. But their stellar performance recently is definitely a sign that we can expect much more coming out of the Swedish Squad compared with their disappointing defeat in the TI5 qualifiers.