"Each blow sharpens my blade."
All Dota 2 fans can agree that Alliance has seen better days. The organizations Dota 2 division was once the champion of the world, but it evolved into a yo-yo club in the past years, continuously getting relegated after being promoted to the highest stage of competition in the Western European DPC.
Though the results havent been there for Alliance, it has been actively trying to find a solution, and Nikobaby has been in the center of the process. Nikobaby joined Alliance in 2019 and has been the teams position one while his teammates changed over time. The carry player recently had an interview with esports.gg, commenting on Alliances current situation with The International 2022 approaching.
Considering Alliance has been unable to qualify for Major events, the invitation to the ESL One Malaysia 2022 was an excellent opportunity for the team to test its mettle versus some of the best squads in the world. In the interview, Nikobaby mentions that Alliance considered the event as a practice for the upcoming TI11 qualifiers. With no high expectations, Alliance was solely focused on improving throughout the event, breaking their streak of 18 losses in the process.
The loss streak had grabbed the attention of Dota 2 fans, but Alliance has been more focused on identifying the areas they can improve in their gameplay, not letting losses or wins disrupt their mentality. Nikobaby mentions that hes been powering through the tough times that the teams in by focusing on his personal gameplay and ensuring that he delivers the best performance in his role.
With The International 2022 on the horizon, Alliance will rely on Nikobabys calm presence and collective mentality possibly more than ever. This wont be the Bulgarians first rodeo, as he participated in the TI qualifiers in 2019 with Mineski. Nikobaby recalls his time with the SEA squad in the interview, and said that he was a lot more hot-headed back then. In the three years that have passed, Nikobaby has not only improved as a player, but made it his mission to enable himself and others gameplay with confidence and being more calm.
Alliance and Nikobaby seem focused on their goal to qualify for TI, and good at blocking out the noise. When asked about his thoughts about the level of negativity in Twitch chat or other platforms toward Alliance, Nikobaby said that he doesnt keep up with the comments. He also added that he knew it was normal for everyone to be against them while they were losing, and the team’s aura would return to positivity once they start winning again.
When it comes to his thoughts regarding ESL One Malaysia 2022, Nikobaby was glad that the COVID restrictions were easing, giving more freedom to players. He recalled the times when players weren’t able to leave their rooms and appreciates his time in the event.
Despite breaking their losing streak in Malaysia, Alliance placed last in their group and failed to qualify for the main event, securing a 11th-12th finish with $5,000 in prize money alongside Team Liquid.