Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov has announced his intent to retire from Dota 2 following the Alliance disbandment, and that doesn’t bode well for his former teammates.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Alliance dropped its entire roster, which itself followed a catastrophic Dota Pro Circuit season. While no longer intending to play professionally, Nikobaby could still make Dota 2 content independently or with another sponsor. As for his former Alliance teammates, this retirement may be a very bad omen.
Nikobaby announced the news himself during an October 10, 2022 stream. While streaming his gameplay, he claimed that he is 100% sure that he will return to professional play. However, he did not rule out continuing to stream or create content surrounding the game. Assuming he follows through on these plans, Nikobaby has effectively chosen to retire from Dota 2 esports.
Before Alliance’ disbandment, Nikobaby was the longest-standing member of the roster. The Bulgarian carry first joined in October 2019. While he enjoyed some top placings in 2020, a bad finish at The International 10 preceded a year of disappointments. After losing to stream team Team Bald Reborn at the TI11 regional qualifier, Alliance’ players likely saw the writing on the wall.
Will other Alliance players retire after Nikobaby?
Nikobaby’s choice to retire from Dota 2 esports calls into question where his former Alliance teammates will end up.
In the wake of the announcement, multiple former Alliance players have either gone radio silent or announced a break. Captain Andrey “Dukalis” Kuropatkin and offlaner Yaroslav “Limitless” Parshin appear to have not made any statements after the kick. Soft support Adam “Aramis” Moroz has stated his intent to take a break from Dota 2 before returning in the future.
However, that hasn’t stopped one former Alliance member from seeking new competitive opportunities. Fan-favorite mid Aliwi “w33” Omar immediately announced that he was looking for a team the same day as the disbandment announcement. He’s one of the most iconic mid laners in Dota 2 and is particularly famous for his Meepo mastery.
While Alliance’s poor recent performance doesn’t do him any favorites, any team that takes w33 will get a lot of fans to go with him.