In a short period of time with Team Empire, Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin has shown tremendous promise. Not many 17-year-olds can say they received an invite to the most renowned Dota 2 tournament in the world – The International. In his TI5 player profile, Ilya shares his journey and enlightens us on the things that keep him motivated and are important to him.
The 17-year-old Ukrainian support player made his professional career debut in August 2014 with HellRaisers, where he stayed for only a few weeks before briefly joining the team Album Sheets and a few other smaller and lesser known teams.
In December 2014, Ilya replaced Aleksey “Solo” Berezin, in Team Empire.
Since then, Empire would assume control of the entire CIS region, dominating in the vast majority of tournaments they participated in. With a few championship titles under their belt, Empire received the honor of a direct invite to The International 5.
When Ilya was a young boy, he would wake up early in the morning to help his family gather fruit to sell at the local market. Ilya and his brother would spend some of the money to buy candy and go to Internet cafés to play video games – a foreshadowing childhood memory that seems to have been the start of what would later develop into an actual career.
Once Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin decided to make a career out of esports, all of his attempts came to grief. It almost felt like chasing rainbows.
ALOHADANCE confesses that the teams he used to be a part of at the beginning of his career always placed poorly in competitions, even against weaker teams.
Frustration and disappointment are clearly written on his face as he recalls his pre-Empire days.
But every cloud has a silver lining, and for Ilya that was his opportunity to join Team Empire.
When you play with Team Empire, you begin to trust the other players. Then you see how each of them plays and you begin to trust their role and the way they play.
Dota 2 has given ALOHADANCE the opportunity to travel the globe and visit new countries. He feels like he’s always on the road lately and it sometimes dawns on him how little time he spends at home.
At such a young age, Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin displays a rather touching mature reasoning. He is grateful that Dota 2 has given him the chance to be able to help his family. Without a father’s support, his mother and brother are counting on the salary he makes.
Ilya believes that Team Empire has what it takes to advance to the finals in The International 5.
In Team Empire, we have a great ability to get into the finals. I hope this record stays at the International, as well.