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Alliance is truly back – The halfway point of the DPC EU Season 2

As the world keeps turning we are already halfway through our second season of the Dota Pro Circuit.

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A season that spawned many questions at its start. How will OG, Team Liquid and Team Nigma perform with their new roster changes? How will the two new teams of Hellbear Smashers and Brame perform? Will Team secret keep its dominant position? Now that we are halfway through the seasons we can already start carefully formulating answers to these questions and many more.

The new top dog

Over the years the phrase “Alliance is back!” has become somewhat of a meme. The organization with its legacy as winners of third international has never really been able to reclaim that same level of dominance. However, looking at their recent results and this season’s DPC, they might very well be truly back. Having already taken victories over Team Secret, Team Nigma, Team Liquid and OG they have already taken out their biggest competition.

With a 4-0 scoreline and only the bottom three teams of the bracket left on the schedule, it seems very unlikely that Alliance will end up in any position but first. After the major we have all seen that western Europe is not the top dog of the international competition that we thought they were. However Alliance seems to be in such great form, that they might reclaim the glory of not only themselves, but also western Europe as a whole.

Change is good

Where Alliance has found a comfortable top spot, the competition just behind them is fierce. Team Liquid brought in Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan to replace Samuel “Boxi” Svahn who needed a break due to family business. OG has once again welcomed their Humblegod Anathan “ana” Pham into the squad. While Team Nigma has replaced their old friend Aliwi “w33” Omar with the russian carry player, Igor “iLTW” Filatov. Risky decisions, but these changes have definitely bore fruit for the teams. As all them seem to be performing to a higher level. A level where they even seem to be able to take games of the great Team Secret.

As the previous top dog of western Europe has already lost out against both Team Nigma and Alliance, only being able to secure victories against lesser teams like Tundra Esports and Hellbear Smashers. The squad seems to be getting into a TI form as the summer is coming closer, and TI form for Team Secret generally means disappointment.

Bridging the gap

On the bottom of the bracket we can find Tundra Esports, Brame and Hellbear Smashers battling it out, trying to escape relegation down to the lower bracket. Where there definitely seems to be a certain skill gap between these three teams and the top five above them. None of the teams want to give up their spot in the upper division. Hellbear Smashers has been performing well in their games, often taking at least one game from the top teams. Never being able close it out in game three, they have ended up with zero points so far.

Another team with a surprising performance is Brame, expectations were high when they started out week one with a 2-0 victory over Tundra Esports. However, the Greeks seemed unable to hold their form as they lost every subsequent series. Making it so that relegation is definitely still something to be wary of.

A quick look east

With all the high octane action in the western part of Europe, we would almost forget about the east. The region with some of the most dedicated Dota 2 fans. The region where the former Yellow Submarine roster, now playing as Team Spirit seems to be doing great. Together with the other eastern european juggernaut of Virtus Pro they have gone undefeated so far.

In the meantime, Na’Vi seems to be struggling to make their new roster work. Just like the fact that doing a heart transplant right before running the marathon doesn’t tend to work out. Replacing Viktor “GeneRaL” Nigrini with Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev has not put the team in the winning mood yet. Instead they have to settle with a two for two scoreline halfway through the season. A score definitely below their own expectations, and that off their numerous fans.

Conclusions

Looking through Europe as a whole, we can see that roster changes are a risky business that can definitely sway two ways. For the western teams it seems to have paid out well, while in the east the dice ended on a one, causing middeling results. Nonetheless we are seeing some exciting new developments with teams like Alliance, OG and Team Liquid looking stronger than ever, maybe even strong enough to put up a good fight at the next major. And show that Europe is still one of the strongest regions.

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Image Credit: Alliance / DPC