32 teams attended the online event, broadcast by Ben 'Merlini' Wu and David "Luminous" Zhang, but in the end only one team could take the win.
From No Tidehunter to Alliance
In the first group stage Alliance was not yet a hot topic, as all five players still played under the flag of No Tidehunter. They won their group with two dominant victories, one of which against Fnatic's North American squad.
Advancing to the second group stage, Alliance had to face another Fnatic squad. This time they faced none other than later-to-be OG stars Tal 'Fly' Aizik and Johan 'BigDaddyN0tail' Sundstein.
However, this version of Fnatic proved to be a much tougher opponent than the North American one, the game ending in a 0:2 loss for Alliance. After winning against TCM-Gaming* and rox.KIS*, the Swedes were still able to qualify for the next round, where they finally showed their whole potential.
Alliance had no problems at all
Team Dignitas* were still a threat in the quarterfinals, but in the end Ioannis 'Fogged' Loucas and co. took just one game from Alliance.
Afterwards, the German team of Ad Finem containing Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier and Adrian 'Fata' Trinks were unable take a single game off Alliance - the Swedes were now on point.
In the Winner's Finals they met Evil Geniuses and didn't hesitate - again they recorded a 2:0 win.
Down in the Lower Bracket, EG had to play against TI champions Natus Vincere. After beating them 2:0 in the quarterfinals, EG — then including Jimmy 'DeMoN' Ho and Jacob 'Maelk' Toft-Andersen — again won in the Lower Bracket Finals with a 2:1 victory over Na'Vi.
In the Grand Finals it was Alliance vs. EG - two squads who would later make their names winning the Aegis of Champions. Again EG were unable to win a single game against the Swedes, although it was a best-of-five this time. Alliance won their third tournament of the year, which will go down as one of the most successful years a team could have in Dota 2, ending with the TI3 win.
SingSing got his moment of joy
Alliance were not the only team that caught our eye in this tournament — QPAD Red Pandas* also drew our attention, featuring Niklas 'Wagamama' Högström, Wehsing 'SingSing' Yuen, Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka, Hampus 'Mini' Olsson and the StarCraft II pro Kyung Hyun 'SeleCT' Ryoo, who went back to playing SCII after a short period.
Against his later team Kaipi, SingSing demonstrated that in Mid he was a threat to his enemies:
Although the Dutch player got his highlight moment, Red Panda failed to win against Kaipi. The European mix team ended up in the Lower Bracket, where they lost in Round One against Peter 'Waytosexy' Nguyen and co.
Photo credit: DreamHack - Hampus Andersson