Alliance is a Swedish professional eSports organization that was founded in April 2013 by Evil Geniuses owner and CEO Alex Garfield and Team Razer. They were eventually revealed to also be the sponsors of the No Tidehunter team from Sweden. The goal of creating Alliance was to promote and support mainly Scandinavian and European eSports in the world, giving the region’s talented players a chance to prove themselves on an international level.
In the beginning the team only comprised of Swedish players at its core, its Dota 2 team consisting of the team captain Loda, the playmaker and midlaner s4, support player Akke and EGM, and off-laner AdmiralBulldog. Loda has remained team captain since the team’s formation, as opposed to the drafter being the team captain, which is standard practice in other teams.
The organization used to have powerful teams competing in League of Legends and StarCraft II, but at the moment only holds teams in Dota 2 and the Super Smash Bros. series. The team’s Dota 2 team is most notable for winning The International 2013. It then had the largest prize money in eSports history.
Formation and Domination
After the dissolution of the Singaporean Team Zenith following The International 2012, the Swedish Dota veteran Loda laid the basis for what would later become the Alliance Dota 2 team. He was approached by a sponsor – the Alliance organization – and was asked if he was interested in forming a team. Since he had the most success with an all-Swedish team when he was part of the SK Gaming team back in 2008, he wanted to continue this practice with the new team. Together with another veteran, Akke, he recruited s4, who was along with AdmiralBulldog playing for team No Tidehunter. By late October 2012, only a month before the DreamHack Winter 2012, they announced Loda and Akke would be joining team No Tidehunter.
The team went on to win the DreamHack Winter. It surprised many, since it was formed relatively shortly before the tournament. This established them as one of the best teams in the west. Soon afterwards the team announced they were under contract by a then unknown organization. The team finished 2012 strong, but encountered difficulties in early 2013, which then led to some conflicts within the team.
After many lineup changes, No Tidehunter competed at the EMS One Spring Cup in February 2013. The team continued to dominate their western competition despite the many changes within the team. The lineup now featured team leader Loda, support player Akke, along with EGM and AdmiralBulldog, as well as the promising s4. This team had their final victory under the No Tidehunter name at the StarLadder StarSeries in Kiev. After that they decided to announce their up-to-then mysterious sponsor.
An Alliance Is Born
After their win at the StarLadder StarSeries in Kiev, Alliance announced itself as a new organization. It was aiming to promote and support Scandinavian and European eSports teams. They started with signing the Swedish StarCraft 2 team NaNiwa and the now all-Swedish team No Tidehunter. Changing their name to Alliance they had their first chance to shine at the DreamHack Invitation tournament, where they successfully defeated Team Dignitas. They went on to win both The Premier League Season 4 and the WePlay Dota2 League in convincing fashion.
Team Alliance wanted to prove they were ready to take on competition from all over the globe. The squad challenged the Chinese on their home turf at the G-1 Season 5 Finals. The players displayed their strength, beating team DK, along with LGD Gaming in flawless victories. They were the first western team to score a major LAN tournament win in China in Dota history. They earned $40,000 prize money and earned the reputation as the best European team and also as one of the best in the world.
Alliance didn’t rest on their laurels and continued to dominate in 2013. They went on to win the DreamHack Summer and StarLadder Season 6 tournaments. There they demonstrated a perfect game of 22-0 against team Quantic Gaming in the latter tournament. But this was far from their best accomplishments in 2013. At The International 2013, Alliance was able to dominate the tournament like no other team in Dota before. Undefeated in their group, they went into the grand finals and faced off against the established Na’Vi team. They were able to beat the once dominant Na’Vi with 3-2 in the finals and take home $1,437,190 in prize money. It was then 50% of the entire prize pool. This was one of the most dominant and successful performances of any team in the history of Dota 2.
Lineup Changes and New Claim to Fame
Late 2014 saw the team let go of s4 and EGM, who went on to play for teams like Team Secret and Team Tinker, respectively. If this wasn’t enough of instability within the team, AdmiralBulldog took a time-out from competitive gaming. Their newly added player MiSeRy began to play as stand-in for Team Secret. EGM returned to the team in early 2015 at an offlane position, and later switched to support. But that didn’t last long and EGM left soon again. AdmiralBulldog was briefly seen playing for Team Tinker. In May, team Alliance’s roster consisted of Loda, Pajkatt, AdmiralBulldog, 7ckngmad and Akke. These many changes and unstable roster led to the team elimination from the TI5 European Qualifiers. It was the first time a previous TI winner was not able to attend the subsequent International tournament.
After the TI5 debacle, s4 and EGM returned to the team and helped Alliance win the World Cyber Arena 2015. The team was then invited to the Shanghai Major. This change in lineup and subsequent wins were enough wind in their sails to go on and take first place at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 1. One amazing fact about this tournament was that the exact same Alliance lineup that won The International 2013 won this tournament against 4 of the 5 players of Evil Geniuses that won The International 2015.
The team continued to show great promise in the first half of 2016. They won 2 major LAN tournaments and attended all of the 4 Majors of the season. But eventually they again parted ways with s4, and AdmiralBulldog took a break from professional competition for some time.
Where (and Who) Are They Now?
Currently the team consists of Loda as team captain, Limmp, jonassomfan, Handsken and EGM, who returned to the team. Loda is active in the organization, as well as is Akke. The team’s last minor and major accomplishments include 9th and 12th place at The International 2016, and 3rd place at the World Electronic Sports Games 2016 with a 2-1 victory against Infamous. It means the team is still going strong and remains relevant in the competition. We can only hope to see more from the team that was so dominant both in the West and the East.