Friday, January 27, 2023

S4th times the charm: Alliance brings back some familiar faces for latest Dota 2 rebuild

When in doubt, fall back on key elements that you know. And what does Alliance dota 2 know better than a roster with s4 at the helm?

In the Swedish organization’s latest full rebuild, Alliance has brought on over half of the former goonsquad lineup to compete in the 2023 dota Pro circuit. This includes both s4 and Handskent, who were previously with the team for the 2021 season and The International 10 before being released after the event.

This will be s4’s fourth time with the team since initially joining up and winning TI3 with the org. It will also be his third time captaining a different lineup under Alliance.

“I’m excited to be back in Alliance working with all the people and staff behind the scenes and especially with this new lineup that I think has a lot of potential going forward,” p4 said. “Since we are coming from two different regions you can expect some fun dota from us starting in Division II while we fight our way up. Even though fans’ expectations are low right now, my goal is to change that and go far next year.”

Handsken is coming back for his third stint with Alliance but will be swapping from position four to position five, a role he has played in the past for different stacks. Charlie Arat, better known as CharlieDota, will follow his former goonsquad teammates over and take up the carry role under the A banner.

That isn’t all Alliance has done during this refresh for 2023, with the European org reaching over into Southeast Asia to pull in some talent for the first time, signing both Ng “ChYuan” Kee Chyuan and Remus “ponlo” Goh. ChYuan specifically had a strong year for Fnatic while ponlo has bounced around a bit despite being a solid talent. Both will be making their EU dota debut in 2023.

Loda remains as team director while former assistant coach Leon Lee “Arthur” Wei Yip transitions to team principal and Pontus “Chef P.” Bengtsson takes up the role of manager.

For Alliance, this looks like taking a step back to take two steps forward. The last time they had success of any kind was with s4 leading a team in 2021, and the org’s best years overall were also with him at the forefront. Bringing him in along with Handsken feels like Alliance acknowledging they need trustworthy hands to steady the ship after a very poor showing in 2022.

“When we fall, we get back up. When we fall, we pause, and restart,” Loda said. “Today we are not going back to that which was, but to who we are. With a more fine-tuned process and experienced staff, handpicked to complement our returning captain I’m incredibly excited for the coming season.”

Along with that, bringing on some newer talent that at least has some experience playing in the DPC is looking to the future and betting on the team’s ability to mesh while building to a goal of contending for a spot at TI12.

It also sounds like this might be s4’s final ride, as the announcement noted he will spend “the last of his competitive years with us” before swapping into a performance team role to continue leading Alliance’s legacy—something that many of his former TI3 teammates have already done.

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