Alliance clashed against Team Spirit today in Group B of the ESL One Los Angeles Online league. The Europeans looked fantastic in a well-played game two, but lackluster play in the first and third saw the Dota 2 squad lose the series to their Russian opponents.
The first game went steadily in Alliance’s favor, but they had to be wary of the ticking time bomb in the opposing Anti-Mage. The Europeans did a fine job keeping Spirit’s carry down, but newbie Anton “DyrachYO” Shkredov was still finding farm on the map.
It wasn’t until Spirit made the call to walk into the Roshan pit under full vision that Alliance established themselves as the leaders. Alliance’s Earthshaker executed the easiest Echo Slam of his life en route to a team wipe, with the sole consolation prize being that Spirit managed to deny the Europeans the Aegis.
The game was Alliance’s to lose—and that’s what they did. The Swedish team started getting caught out one by one, culminating in a disastrous Roshan fight that once again saw the Aegis snatched from the initiating team.
Spirit then stormed down the mid lane and wiped Alliance twice in their own base, securing a 27,000 net worth swing and an improbable victory.
For game two, it looked like Alliance had calmed their nerves, clinically dispatching Spirit in a 30-minute game with clean teamfight execution and surgical efficiency. The jitters came back in full force in a topsy-turvy final game, though, where both teams failed to maintain a grip on the state of the match.
Game three, much like the first, was about the Roshan pit. Both teams traded the objective freely, with neither managing to secure a decisive advantage. When Alliance picked up the Aegis and tried to push, Spirit resisted. When Spirit did the same thing, Alliance responded well. A constant, however, was Spirit’s Egor “Ergon” Kozlov having a terrible game since s4’s Doom tracked him down almost every fight.
Spirit held off the back of their farmed Phantom Lancer, however. Yet, Spirit’s carry made a crucial mistake by buying back prematurely, losing his life twice in an ill-fated teamfight.
Anxious to end the game with DyrachYO dead without buyback, Alliance rushed down the mid lane, electing to skip the barracks for an attempt at Spirit’s throne. While Ergon had a rough game, he put in a star turn when his Ember Spirit helped repel Alliance’s push, buying time for the Phantom Lancer to respawn.
This time, in perhaps the smoothest Roshan takedown in the series, Spirit capitalized on Alliance exhausting their resources in the preceding push and procured the Aegis. The pendulum swung one last time and the Russians upset Alliance.
With both teams having a 1-1 record, the series win sends Spirit into the top half of the table and Alliance to the bottom half at ESL One L.A. Online. The first four teams in each group will qualify for the main event, while the last four will be eliminated.