Longtime captain of Alliance Jonathan “Loda” Berg has stepped down from the organization’s Dota 2 roster for the remainder of the season, citing a need to take a “break” from competitive play. He will be replaced by former Ninjas in Pyjamas, Escape Gaming, and Fnatic.EU player Adrian “Era” Kryeziu.
In a statement sent to Yahoo Esports, Loda laid out his reasoning for stepping down.
“It has been a hard year being an Alliance fan, and it has been a hard year for me personally,” he said. “What some of you know is that I have been part of Alliance not only as a player but also as a team owner. Even though a lot of people told me that you cannot play and run a company at the same time I thought if anyone could, it would be me. Needless to say I have not been able to balance things as well as I would have wanted. I have not been able to give Dota my 100% focus and to anyone aiming to win TI that says it all.”
Loda is a founding member of Alliance, having played for the team since its creation in 2013. The team was immediately successful, dominating the Dota 2 scene for the majority of the year. They won both DreamHack Summer 2013 and The International 2013, the latter of which is now considered to be one of the best Dota 2 tournaments of all time.
The 2016 and 2017 seasons have been more of a struggle for Alliance. The team has not finished higher than 7th place in a major tournament, leading to calls for change from the community.
Era will be joining old Ninjas in Pyjamas teammates Simon “Handsken” Haag and Linus “Limmp” Blomdin on Alliance. He will be taking over Loda’s position 1 on the team.
For more, head over to the Yahoo Esports Dota 2 hub.
Follow Taylor Cocke on Twitter @taylorcocke.