In the first big DOTA 2 LAN tournament of 2016, featuring many of the top teams in the world, including nine of the teams who will take part in the Shanghai Majors in March, the story of the tournament was the Swedish-based Alliance team. The former International champions were nearly removed from the tournament after weather complications cancelled their flight to Minsk, the site of the finals. After public backlash and frantic rescheduling, Alliance started out poorly on the first day, but persevered and emerged from the group stages with a spot in the playoffs. Alliance then defeated Team Secret (in another disappointing finish for the heavily-hyped European team), Team Liquid, and TI5 defending champions Evil Geniuses. Alliance dropped only a single map in the entire playoffs, claiming first place and $120,000 (USD) in prize money. This will hopefully put to rest the controversy which reigned when Valve gave Alliance a direct invitation to the Shanghai Majors, over other deserving teams like Liquid and China’s LGD Gaming, who ended up finishing 3rd/4th in this single elimination tournament.