The stakes could not be any higher in Moscow. Alliance needed to make top 8 in the final Major of the year in order to unseat EHOME and take their invite to The International 2019. On top of that they also needed to outperform Gambit Esports or even a top 8 would not be enough. As fate would have it, Alliance ended up in a battle with Gambit in the lower bracket which would determine which of them would make it to TI.
Win and you’re in.
In order to get as far as they have so far, Alliance had to start in the deadly lower bracket bo1’s. They dispatched Infamous easily and then went up against one of the tournament’s biggest question marks, Royal Never Give Up. It was in this match that Alliance showed great tenacity which would come back to once again serve them well in their games against Gambit. After a hardfought 60+ minute loss to RNG in the first game, they readjusted and took the 2nd and 3rd game of the series to keep their TI dreams alive.
This lead them to their match against Gambit. Both teams felt the weight of the series on them as the entire DPC season came down to this single moment. A full year of crushing defeats and stunning victories were all condensed into this one series in Moscow. However, if the members of Alliance were feeling nervous due to the stakes they certainly didn’t show it. Boxi stepped up in game 1 and dominated his lane, and then made the entire map his own playground on Timbersaw. From minute 0 Alliance owned both sides of the river and you could see on their faces how much it meant to them to be a single game away from securing their TI invite.
The second game was a different beast entirely. Roshan fights that never ended, both teams expending every buyback available multiple times, and insane late game situations never before seen in competitive Dota. Gambit threw everything they had to try and stop Alliance from claiming a 2-0 victory but it was not enough. Alliance managed to control the chaos and came out slightly more ahead after each engagement, turning their advantages into objectives and when Gambit finally ran out of steam (and buybacks), Alliance was able to end the game.
While the Major is still ongoing, the most important match has already been settled. We now know all 12 teams who have received a direct invite and at the final hour it is Alliance who stood strong and rose to the challenge. They are back.