i don't really think c9 is particularly strong right now. it's too easy to ban sing's stuff 'cause he's really only *good* at the stuff that's OP and in vogue right now - you wanted to ban mirana and ember anyway. either way, alliance has C9's number. that being said, as good as alliance is, i really think bulldog does all the work. say what you want about egm and akke making big plays, loda being good at getting away with greed... i feel almost all of alliance's wins revolve around bulldog's movement. i guess everyone else sees it too, because he got MVP as ESL even though they didn't even make it to the grand final. it also doesn't help that the offlane is so easy these days that you can basically put any hero there, which, naturally means more spell-farming carries. anyone who can duck into the jungle for 3 minutes and come out with an extra 2k net worth after getting lvl 7 e.g. void, bristleback, doom: those are not bOne7 heroes, but the metagame currently demands 2-3 hard carries thanks to EG's orbit around arteezy and his ceaseless rice-fest.
i would be excited to see lifestealer show his face in the offlane soon again... i think that's long overdue. if void can do it, lifestealer can do it. maybe not to the same effect, but lifestealer is a fun hero to watch so i may be biased.