Watch the Dota 2 comeback of the year


In Dota, there are setbacks and there are game-ending disadvantages. One lane of barracks down, beefy enemy creeps on the way? You can come back from that, if you’re careful not to give up any more ground. Two lanes? You’re in trouble. Three lanes of barracks gone, a huge wave of mega creeps on your Ancient, the entire enemy team in your base, fat on gold, and willing to end the game? That’s it. You’re done. The game was once called ‘defense of the Ancients’ for a reason, and if you let things get to that dire point you’re done defending.

Except, sometimes, you’re not. Yesterday, a Frankfurt Major qualifier match between Swedish teams Ninjas in Pyjamas and Alliance ended in a shocking turnaround as Alliance fought back into the game from the threshold of defeat. Hell, not even the threshold: they were deep in the shitty mezzanine of defeat, ringing the doorbell of disqualification by the time they pulled off the comeback to end all comebacks. You can catch all of the action in digest form in the video above, or watch the whole match right here.

This marks Alliance’s return to the scene after a long period of underperformance. They won the third International, but have since struggled to perform at the top level. The disintegration of the old Team Secret has given them their midlaner S4 back, and while this isn’t quite the same lineup as the Alliance of old—the brilliantly-named Mynuts replaces former support EGM—it does feel like having them back. Alliance are known, primarily, for their ability to control the map. They’re the most visible proponents of ‘rat Dota’, a strategy that means pushing out one side of the map, forcing the enemy to respond, and fleeing to do it somewhere else.

That wasn’t the reason for their victory last night, however: this miraculous comeback required a misstep from NiP, a great aggressive teamfight decision from Alliance, and the Alchemist teamfight performance to end all Alchemist teamfight performances by carry Loda.

The Dota 2 Frankfurt Major now has all of its qualifier teams from every region. Alliance and (Monkey) Business from Europe, Invictus Gaming and Newbee from China, Cloud9 and Team Unkown from the Americas, and Mineski and Fnatic from South East Asia. The Major runs from November 16-21, with a fixed prize pool of $3m.

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Chris Thursten

Joining in 2011, Chris made his start with PC Gamer turning beautiful trees into magazines, first as a writer and later as deputy editor. Once PCG's reluctant MMO champion , his discovery of Dota 2 in 2012 led him to much darker, stranger places. In 2015, Chris became the editor of PC Gamer Pro, overseeing our online coverage of competitive gaming and esports. He left in 2017, and can be now found making games and recording the Crate & Crowbar podcast.