A team that has experience, skill, the Charisma and the Dota 2 All-time great, S4, Alliance is one of the fan-favorite orgs at TI10. The team had a dominant showing in the DPC season and spoke to us about the thoughts on the DPC format, TI10 schedule and more.
As one of the iconic organizations in Dota 2, Alliance has a big following and has many fans rooting for them at TI10. The team has survived the group stage and will face Beastcoast in its first match of the lower bracket.
Alliance’s only victory in the group stage was against Thunder Predator. But it was more than enough to help secure Alliance a spot in the lower bracket of the TI Mainstage.
The team’s journey in the DPC season has been quite different from other teams. Despite being a part of the toughest region in Dota 2, Alliance’s online journey was actually very impressive. The team finished 2nd in DPC season 1 and won the second season. But the dominant online performance did not translate to LAN as the team failed to impress at both the Majors this season.
"With COVID restrictions, it does not feel like LAN." - Nikobaby
S4 gave us an insight into his thoughts on the difference between LAN and online matches. The COVID pandemic made LAN events impossible and the online DPC format, although unavoidable, was not to everyone’s liking.
I think when you play online, it’s stretched out over a long period. When you play on LAN it's a week max. You have to perform in that week. In the online format, you have a lot of time to think and to adjust. When it comes to LAN, experience matters and it’s just very different than online tournaments. - S4.
Playing on LAN, and especially is a surreal experience for many. But this year, Valve had to cancel the in-person audience to comply with local safety regulations. It was a tough decision, one that would spoil the TI experience for many fans, players and viewers.
Personally, I prefer LAN. But with COVID restrictions, it does not feel like LAN. We go to the hotel room, we don't see anyone. No fans, nothing. For me, they are both the same right now. Online and LAN are pretty much the same for me. I don't see much of a change except maybe the venue. We are going to be on a stadium, but then again we are not going to see anyone.
LAN events during COVID are not truly LAN events as COVID restrictions and other safety rules mean that players cannot meet their fans. The lack of a live audience, the emptiness of the stadiums and the absence of the crowd’s roar are all a byproduct of COVID restrictions. Nikobaby, like many other players, likes to play on LAN, but right now, feels online and LAN matches are pretty much the same.
Thoughts on the DPC format: "Too Long"
Alliance was one of the most dominant teams in the leagues this year. Despite the format favoring Alliance, the players believe the system needs a change. Limmp is of the opinion that the Leagues need to be shorter and that way we could probably have more games each day.
I think the leagues are too long. Maybe try to make the leagues a bit shorter so get more games each day.
In a tweet, Alliance has released the dates of the next DPC season. The first League runs for a very long time with a Christmas break in between. The next DPC season starts on November 29 and will play out till December 22 before the players head into the Christmas break. The league resumes on January 5 and continues till January 23.
How did the Change in TI10 Schedule Affect the Players?
TI was supposed to take place in August but Valve had to change the dates and move the location to Romania.
It was going to happen in Summer. Everyone had prepped their mind to play in August, some teams took a break going into TI practice. It was actually nice to have the break in Summer cause we would have had to spend the whole summer inside playing games and this year we can enjoy summer. Every single year it’s been TI has been in summer and we have had to spend it inside. I feel like I like this change of pace a lot.
TI10 kicked off on October 7 with the Main event starting on October 12. The Grand Finals of the $40 million prize pool event will crown the champion on October 17 at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest.
Remembering the Old Days: "People were a lot closer back then" - S4
As a Dota 2 veteran, a TI winner, S4 has seen the growth and the evolution of the Dota esports scene. While Dota has grown and there are lot more people in the scene right now, S4 is of the opinion that the scene was much closer back then.
People were a lot closer back then, the players on different teams. Now, it's kind of awkward to talk to different teams, players. Cause they don't want to talk to you, you don't want to talk to them, they are competition. You might talk to them afterward. Back then you were all kind of friends because there was not that many tournaments back then. You also learnt a lot about people.
The camaraderie between Dota 2 players across teams was because there were fewer tournaments and people were eager to speak to players from other teams.
On being asked if he sees himself in the same league as Notail and Puppey, S4 puts up Kuroky’s name to the list of all-time Dota 2 greats. He does not believe himself to be up there alongside these players, says the TI champion and the captain of one of the strongest teams in EU right now.
Thoughts on the TI Schedule
The International 10 has a single day of a break between the Group stage and the Main stage. Is this break enough before the biggest Main stage event of their careers?
I think one day is enough, to be honest. We don’t want it to be too long. In previous Majors, there have been 2-3 days of break. Personally, I think it’s a bit too long. I think one day is enough to create anticipation, but more than that I don’t really see the point.
Handsken: “Beastcoast are quite unique because they don't really follow the meta”
Alliance face off against Beastcoast in the lower bracket match. Beastcoast is the only representative remaining from South America after SG esports and Thunder Predator faced an early exit in the group stage.
Beastcoast are quite unique because they don't really follow the meta. They sort of create their own way, which makes them very very strong or they can look strange. I think focusing on ourselves is the way ahead.
Why Does Alliance not have a Coach?
Alliance parted ways with PPD who was the team’s coach up until June. Here are S4’s thoughts on coaching in Dota 2 and why Alliance does not have one right now.
I feel coaching is one of the hardest jobs cause he has to adjust to the team or the team has to adjust to you. So you have to find the right coach. For me, if we don't get the right coach we would rather go without. If you go for the coach and he is not the right fit for the job, it would be bad.
“I think VP is really outstanding when it comes to preparation and new strategies in the game” - FNG
The CIS region is one of the strongest regions in Dota 2 alongside EU and China. With both the CIS teams, Team Spirit and Virtus.Pro in the upper bracket, there is a good chance that one these two teams might make a deep run at TI10.
"VP was expected cause they definitely played well this season. They showed some cool starts and cool ideas. I think VP is really outstanding when it comes to preparation and new strategies in the game. It seems like Team Spirit are playing stable and their experience playing together for one year is just paying off. Shoutout to their coach, Airat "Silent" Gaziev, he is improving the young boys." - FNG.