By making it into the Grand Finals, NiP got a second chance against Alliance. The Lower Bracket winner lost a day earlier against the Swedes after leading the series with one victory. However, this time it was Aydin 'INSaNIA' Sarkohi with the better draft idea.
Alliance with the good start
He picked an aggressive lineup for his both carry players Michael 'm`ICKe' Vu and Max 'Qojqva' Broecker - and was successful with it! Max 'Qojqva' Broecker and Michael 'm`ICKe' Vu killed 24 heroes together, while NiP just made it to 14 kills as a whole squad.
iNsania picked an even more greedy lineup in game two. He seemed to be right again, because they killed Marcus 'Ace' Hoelgaard on Sven before the actual game started.
NiP won't give up so easily
The only problem: ppd had a strict plan to stop Samuel 'Boxi' Svahn's Mars with Undying and Bat Rider - both are perfect picks against the new offlane/support hero. However, he switched lanes immediately to get some early kills. That is important for him to snowball his opponents. NiP was aware of it and especially Adrian 'Fata' Trinks worked hard to tie the series to 1-1.
Fata was also the most important factor in game three. The German mid laner won his lane without problems on Templar Assassin and Alliance couldn't stop him afterwards. NiP took the lead, but Alliance didn't give up:
Game four took exactly one hour and both teams had more than 30 kills in the end. The best player of the game was mICKe who proved once more that he's an incredibly skilled Juggernaut player. This is the European rivalry we have been waiting for!
Two times Minor champion
Alliance got an early grab on the last game, but NiP didn't get shaky. They were waiting for one team fight to turn the game - and Alliance stepped right in their trap. Especially Ace's Meepo was unstoppable in the last game. Alliance threw everything at the carry, but wasn't capable of killing him. 32 Minutes later NiP crowned themselves to the Minor champion. ppd and his team-mates are the only squad that won two Minors this season.
Alliance, on the other side, lost their first Grand Finals of this season. The organization is still waiting for another LAN victory since The Final Match 2017.
Five European teams compete at the Major
NiP is the fifth European team at the Major after Alliance already made it one day earlier into the Grand Finals by beating their EU rivals. Both teams will join the 14 other teams at the EPICENTER Major. The whole European lineup will be NiP, Alliance, Team Liquid, OG and Team Secret.
OG and Alliance are the only two teams of this five-squad lineup that are not qualified for TI directly yet. However, both teams have good chances to make it. OG is already in the top 10 and just needs 700 more points to make it to TI safely. Alliance is not in the top 12, but could surpass EHOME and J.Storm easily, since both teams can't make points any more.
Almost half of the direct invites could be from Europe - this year really proves the dominance of the region.
Do you think Alliance and NiP will battle again in Moscow?
Photo credit: StarLadder