|Player||Position||Games Played for Team|
|Loda ( C )||1||163|
Alliance formed in April of 2013, though the current roster had played together as NTH prior to that. The team’s last roster move came in February when EternalEnvy was removed from the team and replaced by EGM. Since then Alliance has established itself as one of the best teams in Dota 2 and a favorite to win TI3. The team is captained by the famous Loda. He is an excellent 1 position farmer who can also play the long lane solo or as part of an agressive tri-lane. s4 is one of the best solo mids in the world. He is capable of swinging a game with his big plays. His Batrider, Magnus, and Clockwerk are fearsome. AdmiralBulldog plays Lone Druid perhaps as well as any player in Dota 2 plays any particular hero. Akke and EGM are great support players. Akke’s Chen play in particular is fantastic.
Tournaments Since TI2
|Team||Country||Winnings||Events||Event Wins||Win %||In the Money||Money %||Offline Events|
If you combine the results of Alliance and NTH, this is the highest performing team in Dota 2 since The International 2012 (TI2). Alliance’s stand out performance was travelling to China and winning G-1 Season V. Alliance dominated many of the top teams in Dota 2 without losing a single game. Other achievements include winning DreamHack 2013, DreamHack 2012, StarSeries VI, and StarSeries V. Alliance has dominated at offline events throughout this past year.
Record (Since May 1st)
Against TI3 Teams:
In 84 drafts since patch 6.78 was released, the top picks and bans for Alliance have been:
|Hero||Pick %||Ban %||Hero||Pick %||Ban %|
|Keeper of the Light||29.8||19||Treant Protector||8.3||42.9|
|Gyrocopter||16.7||33.3||Keeper of the Light||29.8||19|
For those interested in Alliance’s draft strategy I recommend reading this article over at Dotametrics. Alliance plays a core of signature heroes exceptionally well. Examples include Akke on Chen; s4 on Batrider, Magnus, and Clockwerk; and AdmiralBulldog on Lone Druid and Furion.
Let me start with a few criticisms before I start gushing about how much I like this team. Pretty much all of the top teams in Dota 2 have at least 4 or 5 players on the team with TI1 or TI2 experience. AdmiralBulldog, EGM, and s4 do not have any TI experience. However the team’s strong offline performance throughout the year probably makes such a concern unfounded. Secondly, the team has not been playing as well the past couple of weeks as they had in the past. Alliance topped the ‘Against TI3 Teams’ table at a .700 mark earlier this month. Play has fallen off a bit since then. The team has dropped online series to Kaipi and EG in The Defense 4 and to mouz in the Raidcall 3 and The Premier League Season V. The squad has not been quite as dominant in recent online events, but I hesitate to read too much into those matches.
A third concern is AdmiralBulldog. His Lone Druid play is outstanding. It may be the best combination of hero and player in Dota 2, partly due to Bulldog’s great individual skill and partly due to the flexibility that Lone Druid provides. The hero is able to safe lane, to hard lane, and to jungle. It is great 1v1 and and can carry late game or make an impact mid-game. Bulldog’s Furion play is also top notch and one of the best in the world. After that though, his hero play can be underwhelming. He plays a good Bounty Hunter but that hero has some limitations. His Lifestealer, Batrider, Clockwerk, and Dark Seer are solid. However those heroes are not at the level of his Lone Druid, Furion, or Bounty Hunter play. The step down from Bulldog playing certain heroes at an all-world level to playing certain heroes at an okay level could possibly be exploited by the top teams at TI3.
While AdmiralBulldog may lack some flexibility in his play, the greatness that is Loda largely negates this. Loda is so damn flexible. He plays the 1 position about as well as anyone. Leave him alone to farm the safe lane and he’ll get a four minute Hand of Midas (Loda has 12 of the top 50 Hand of Midas times). He is great in the aggressive tri-lane too, something that can’t be said for some of the 1 position players at TI3. Loda can also play the 3 position when needed. At TI2 he primarily played the 3 position for Zenith and he still demonstrates that skill-set from time to time.
I am being a bit nit-picky for Alliance because this is such a great team. Those small negatives are greatly outweighed by Alliance’s many positives. This is one of the best teams in Dota 2. Alliance may be the overall favorite going into the tournament, both in terms of expectations and based on results over the past six months. The individual skill level is extraordinary. An argument can be made that the team has the best 1 position and 2 position players in the world. The rest of roster is also very good and has very high skill caps on certain heroes.
Alliance’s team fight and coordination is wonderful and among the best we will see at TI3. The team is creative and daring. Be it starting the G-1 Season V by doing the fastest Roshan I have ever seen, running Phantom Assassin in the finals of that tournament, or doing a fake Roshan in the finals of DreamHack 2012, the team adds a level of unpredictability to its play that makes them even harder to play against. Anything less than a grand finals appearance would be a disappointment for fans of Alliance. This team has the potential to not only win TI3 but to go down as one of the best teams in the history of Dota.