Alliance started the new season on the right foot. They took the championship title this past weekend at DreamLeague Rotterdam and are now already playing on the next LAN tournament on the schedule, ESL One Hamburg. Next month they will be playing in the first Major of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit, which for some of their members is the first Valve sanctioned event in a while.
We’ve been able to catch with Simon “Handsken” Haag, who is now back on the Alliance roster and has been reunited with an old friend of his. We took the opportunity to talk to him about his friendship with Linus “Limmp” Blomdin, the new journey ahead for him and what expectations he and Alliance set for themselves going to Hamburg.
Hello Handsken and welcome back to Alliance, it’s good to see you again on a LAN. Upon joining Alliance you’ve left behind the idea of being the captain of your team, and let’s start our conversation with that. How is your gameplay changing now that you have Fata in the leadership role?
It’s definitely a big change for me, but I enjoy it a lot. I feel that from all other teams I played in and everything I’ve learned, I’m better at helping hands with the captain rather than being the captain myself. I feel like I’m probably a bit too agreeable to be a proper captain. So I enjoy a lot the new role and it helps me focus more on my game.
I’ve talked to Fata a bit earlier and when I asked him about how he formed the team he said that you and Limmp kind of came as a bundle. Now, we know that you two guys used to play together back in the day, but then he moved to NA to play for compLexity, while you were in EU with The Final Tribe. Are you two actually very good friends who stayed in touch through all this time?
Yeah, we definitely are good friends. I know Limmp since 2013-2104, back in the HoN times, and then I played three seasons with him in Dota. After that, we had like 2-3 years of a break, but regardless, we’ve been close friends through all this time, we’ve seen each other every time we had the opportunity. You know, both of us missed the last two TIs, so we meet during the summers and so on. Because of our friendship outside the game, I would say we have a good synergy inside the game as well.
You’re both back on LANs now, you also qualified for the first Major of the season, and congrats on that. How does it feel to be back to Valve tournaments?
It feels really good, honestly. It’s like a full turnaround situation, for me at least, because I really didn’t know what to expect when I joined this team. I obviously saw the potential that we have, but things worked quite perfectly so far for us. We made it to the Major from the first seed, which felt really good. Things get pretty dark when you are on a tier two team and you don’t make it to the tournaments. You start to question yourself, “am I doing the right thing, am I making enough money to pay my rent? Will I be able to pay all the bills?” But, I’m glad that I was able to stick through it and now I’m in a better place.
You’ve qualified for the Major from the first seed. So, coming to DreamLeague Rotterdam, were you confident that you will also do so well here, did you expect to reach the finals undefeated?
After the Major qualifiers, we were pretty confident that we will make it to the upper bracket here. We’ve beaten both Liquid and NiP, which we considered the bigger threats here. It sounds a bit arrogant to say that we expected these results, but you know, we definitely knew that we could do it.
What target did you set for ESL One Hamburg?
That one is a much tougher tournament. So far, we played only against European teams plus J.Storm here at DreamLeague, while in Hamburg we will have teams from different regions. There are Chinese teams, Southeast Asian ones, some NA teams as well, so it’s hard to say how we will match-up against them.
We are all waiting for the fourth Spirit to come to Dota2. What kind of hero do you hope Void Spirit will it be, support or core?
I think it will be very fun to have it as a support. We obviously don’t really know anything about it, how it will work, but if you look at all the other Spirits, they have unity in the concept and I hope that Void Spirit will be the same with his brothers, mobile, able to move around the map pretty fast. So, I hope it will be a fun support hero.
Thanks a lot for talking to us today, best of luck at your next tournament, ESL One Hamburg and good luck at the first Major of the DPC season, in November. If you have any shout-outs to make at the end of our interview, please do.
Thanks to everyone supporting us. All the feedback and all the messages that we received since we joined Alliance were overwhelmingly positive, so thanks to you, all the guys and also thanks to the Alliance sponsors.
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