scorecardThis esports team is competing for a $15 million prize. We talked to its coach and manager about what it takes to build a winning squad.
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This esports team is competing for a $15 million prize. We talked to its coach and manager about what it takes to build a winning squad.

This esports team is competing for a $15 million prize. We talked to its coach and manager about what it takes to build a winning squad.
EntertainmentEntertainment2 min read

Alliance Dota 2

Alliance

Alliance is one of the best "Dota 2" teams in the world, and they've got a chance to win $15 million at The International.

Esports is a burgeoning industry, and only a handful of people can truly call themselves veterans in the world of professional gaming.

Jonathan "Loda" Berg is the CEO of Alliance, a Swedish esports team sponsored by major companies like Twitch, Monster, and Razer. But before he was an executive, Loda was considered one of the world's best "Dota 2" players. In 2013, the same year Alliance was founded, Loda led the team to victory at The International, the annual "Dota 2" championship hosted by Valve Software, the game's developer. 

Now six years later, Alliance has new roster of young players to competing for a $33 million prize pool at The International, with Loda as the coach. The tournament's prize pool is more than 10 times larger than it was when Loda won, and it's being hosted in Shanghai, China for the first time this year. The winning team will walk away with $15 million, but Alliance's progress in the tournament so far means it'll leave with at least $501,545 in prize money.

Read more: A $33 million esports tournament is now underway, and the prize pool could keep growing. Here's everything you need to know about 'The International'

Alliance has also added new players to compete in games like "Fortnite," "Super Smash Bros. Melee," "League of Legends," and "Call of Duty." Alliance general manager Kelly "kellymilkies" Ong has more than 10 years of experience in competitive gaming and helps manage logistics, social media, and other day-to-day matters for the rapidly-expanding team.

Business Insider spoke with Loda and Ong about what it takes to build and support an esports team, how professional gamers can transition to new jobs when their careers end, and what it takes to win on the biggest stage in competitive gaming.

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