When talking about the glory days of Dota 2's past, it's impossible to not mention the absolute titan that was Alliance. In its heyday Alliance operated with near robotic coordination and efficiency, culling team after team without breaking a sweat. It was like Gabe Newell himself descended from the heavens to form the ultimate Dota 2 squad.

But teams can't live on nostalgia. One Major victory now means more than an Aegis earned in 2013. Like we saw with Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, past wins stop mattering as soon as they're in the past. To thrive in ​Dota 2, teams have to live in the here and now -- start doing poorly and the scene will leave them in the dust without a second thought.

No one knows this better than Alliance, an organization which has been struggling for years to achieve the fame and glory of days past. 

So how does a team live up to past perfection? Alliance's answer: persistence. Despite poor performance in 2016 and 2017, the team's roster is largely comprised of the exact same players as a year or two ago -- and finally it's time for that to pay off. Through incredible coordination and hard workAlliance is poised to break back into the upper echelons of pro Dota after qualifying for both ESL One Hamburg and ​Kuala Lumpur

Showing up at the first Major of the Dota Pro Circuit season puts a team on the map, it opens them up to a whole world of possibilities: scrims with top teams, sponsorships, invitations to events. The first rung on the ladder to TI9 is Kuala Lumpur, and Alliance just grabbed it.

Yet despite recent performances and qualifications, Alliance's return to glory has only begun. To play with the top dogs Alliance has to prove it can beat them consistently. A win at either ​ESL One Hamburg or Kuala Lumpur could be exactly what Alliance needs to slingshot it into future Majors and tournaments. 

Alliance has more riding on the next tournaments than any other team -- it needs a win, a big win, now more than ever.

Photo courtesy of Alliance