Alliance Dota 2 player Jonathan "Loda" Berg has stepped down from his position on the team's' starting roster until after The International 2017, Alliance announced Friday.
According to Alliance's press release, Loda had "other engagements" that were keeping his focus off of Dota 2 for the past few months. He will be replaced on the team by former Ninjas in Pyjamas player Adrian "Era" Kryeziu, which means Alliance will have to play in the TI7 open qualifiers.
"This was not an easy decision to make, and I know that a lot of you will be very disappointed," Loda said in a press release. "But it is the right one for me, and I hope you can respect that. In interviews I often talk about paving the way for someone new, this is no longer my team and it is time to let the boys have a go at it themselves. They are passionate, dedicated and ready to prove themselves."
Loda has been with Alliance since April 2013, and was the longest serving member of their Dota 2 roster. He was the last member of Alliance's original roster to still be playing with the team.
Over the last year, Alliance has struggled to qualify for tournaments, and has not attended a major event since The International 6 last year, where they placed 9th-12th. Alliance recently placed second in the Kiev Major 2017 European qualifier, 5th-6th in the EPICENTER 2017 CIS-EU qualifier, and third in the Dota Summit 7 European qualifier.
Era has been active in Dota 2 since 2012, and is best known for this two TI appearances with Fnatic.EU and his recent TI6 appearance with Escape Gaming. He previously played with current Alliance players Linus "Limmp" Blomdin, Jonas "jonassomfan" Lindholm and Simon "Handsken" Haag on NiP's 2015 roster.
"I am very excited to welcome Adrian to the squad," Handsken said in the press release. "Adrian is not only an old teammate for some of us, he is also a player of high calibre and a person we can trust. Although this means we will have to go through the open qualifiers for The International, I am more than optimistic about this group. Trust that we will work as hard as humanly possible in order to succeed!"
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.