In February of 2013, just a few months removed from taking first place at DreamHack Winter, a team by the name of No TideHunter made a controversial roster change. The team's four Swedish players had decided that it would be best to move to an all-Swedish lineup, and thus replaced the very popular EternaLEnVy with Jerry "EGM" Lundvkist, who was at the time a much smaller name than his predecessor.
Much of the community did not approve. But after several public comments from Loda and EE, and then several months of impassioned forum arguments made by fans on each side of the fence, the team's results started to pour in. And as we all know, convincing facts can end a debate quite quickly.
From EGM's debut in February '13 through the end of August '13, the team now called Alliance had one of the most dominant runs ever achieved by a professional Dota 2 team. Within a six-month span, Alliance won back-to-back StarLadder titles, back-to-back TPL titles, and DreamHack Summer. They dominated Asia's best at the G-1 Champions League, where they didn't drop a single map. And all of this, of course, was on the way to winning The International 3 with an overall tournament map score of 23-3.
Outside of the game, the team was equally special. Those of us who are close to the players know that Alliance's team environment felt less like a group of hired professionals, and more like a family. The team was close-knit, and often spent their holidays and free time together.
The team had its own way of settling disputes
Just a casual snowball fight amongst friends
This atmosphere of friendship, without any doubt, was a major contributing factor in the team going without a roster change for more than 18 months, which by our count makes it the longest-tenured lineup in the history of professional Dota 2. And the players' close personal bonds make this announcement all the more difficult, but ultimately still necessary.
It's time for a couple of changes, and today we say goodbye to Gustav "S4" Magnusson and Jerry "EGM" Lundkvist. We cannot thank them enough for everything they have contributed to our team and organization over the past several years, and we with them nothing but the best.
I do not really know how to begin a statement like this, because I haven't really been in any situations like this one before.
This is the end of an era, but I'll start at the beginning. Two years ago, after a so-so performance at TI2, I set out with the goal to build a team that I could call my own, with people that I respected and could grow to be friends with. I wanted a group of people that were not going to stop at anything to achieve our goals. We did not set our goals low - we aimed for the top, and we reached it.
S4, we have been through so much together, and in a way I feel a bit disappointed that you wanted to try your luck somewhere else. In a way, I want to be angry at you, but we are friends, brothers, and we traveled the world together as champions. I cannot do anything other than respect your decision, even if I still don't agree with it ;).
EGM, you were someone I really fought to originally bring onto the team. We had so much fun playing together for all those months prior to you joining, and then also onwards. Together, we made up one of the most feared dual lanes of 2013, whether you were on Windranger or Wisp. I am very happy to have had the chance to help form you as a player, and I am proud to call you my friend. You were my "chosen one" when it came to support, but just like Obi-Wan and Anakin, I guess some duos are not meant to be together forever. We had a good run, and now I wish you all the success, wherever you decide to go.
As we say goodbye to both S4 and EGM, it feels like we have lost a part of our identity as a team. But even though it's always sad to say goodbye, I've always felt confident in my ability to build new teams. And with the company of my long-time partner Akke, and man's best friend Bulldog, we all feel confident together. We still have the same fire in us as when we first started off as No Tidehunter in 2012.
We will find two new players, and reform ourselves as a team. We will find the new blood we need to begin anew, and we will prove ourselves out there rather than resting on old achievements. We will change, but we will still remain the same.
We are Alliance.
It is sad to see S4 and EGM's departure from Alliance. I will not forget what we achieved as a team and the bonds we created. I wish both of them luck with their new teams, and it will be a lot of fun playing with them again - even if it's now against them.
Playing together with S4 and EGM has been great. I couldn't be happier with what we have accomplished as a team and I'm happy to say that I have spent all this time playing and going to events together with good friends. Together we have done something I could never have dreamt of: we won The International 3 and it's something I will remember for the rest of my life.
But things change, which doesn't have to be something bad. From now on we aren't friends playing in the same team anymore, instead we are friends playing on different teams. I wish both EGM and S4 the very best in what comes up next for them.
Being the manager of Alliance in the last 2 years has been an amazing journey. I had the utmost pleasure of working with a lot of professional players - 2 of them are S4 and EGM. Today, I am sad to officially announce that the two of them will no longer continue to play under the Alliance flag.
S4, you have grown a lot as a player and person since you started playing with the team. You have been a great captain and friend to the boys and me. Thanks for always helping to finish the food I make, watching you play horror games during bootcamp will be something i remember as well!
EGM, you know you are my favorite son forever :(. I know we will continue spending time together and you have been a great addition to the family. Even though I always call you the baby of the team, you often end up having to take care of me! Thank you for all the hugs and great plays you have made for the team.
Signed by the entire team
The Alliance commemorative keyring, produced in collaboration with Weta Workshop, is your chance to own a piece of history. The keyring has been custom-designed and molded from start to finish, and features the Alliance team crest, crafted with battle damage endured by the team over the course of its many tournament victories.
Each keyring's packaging has been personally signed by Loda, Akke, AdmiralBulldog, EGM, and S4. Only 500 are available for purchase.