The world witnessed many players play the beautiful game of DOTA 2 over time. A countless number of beginners take fascination in this 5V5 MOBA game each day. While some of these players make it to the professional stage, others don’t always get so lucky. The word Dendi in itself is a legend among the fans of DOTA 2. Widely acclaimed as the best DOTA 2 player of all time, the story of Dendi the boss is quite the tale!
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin is a Ukrainian professional DOTA 2 player. Born on December 30, 1989, Dendi was just like any other kid on the block who was good at the game. Soon after, his elder got married and took over his computer. As a result, Danil had to move his gaming-practice schedule to the internet cafes. He started participating in LAN tournaments and pro competitions. Even though he was a teenager, he was strikingly remarkable in the game.
Many didn’t know that Dendi had a very humble background, to begin with. His family struggled to buy him the personal computer he wanted. His father was a piano teacher and Dendi was brought up in a culture of music and dance from his childhood. He used to go fishing with his father in the lake and developed a keen sense of patience. It was this sense of patience that helped him through difficult times as he recollected many years later. Like many other aspiring gamers, he started with Counter-Strike and Warcraft 3. He used to play day in and day out, practicing his way through much of his teenage. As a teenager, he participated in many local Counter-Strike and Warcraft tournaments and won most of them. As a result, many started recognizing our hero as the future gaming superstar.
One day he stumbled across DotA: Defense of the Ancients, and immediately liked the game. He was quick to learn the basics, and soon he was addicted to DOTA like so many other teenagers. At the age of only 17, he started his professional gaming career by joining WolkeR-Gaming. The year was 2006, and the team was not performing well in its recent appearances. But something changed with Dendi’s arrival. After a surprising third-place finish in MYM Prime Nations that year, his team made it to the grand finals of MYM Prime Defending. The name of Dendi was on the rise after the tournament concluded.
Na’Vi and Dendi: A match made in heaven
(Image via Reddit.)
Very soon the rising teenage sensation caught big eyes in the DOTA 2 circuit and one particular team: Natus Vincere offered Dendi a position in the team. He joined Na’Vi in the Christmas of 2010. What followed afterward is pretty much a legend. He went on to win the first-ever DOTA 2 World tournament- The International 2011. Although he joined Na’Vi as a support, his gaming knowledge and insane skills as a player got him promoted to a midlaner. Dendi helped Na’Vi flourish consistently and went on to achieve many accolades through the major part of the year and that to follow. Na’Vi ended up in second place in the next two The International Finals. Even to this day, that roster is considered the best DOTA 2 team of all time.
Dendi and Pudge: A fairy Tale
Dendi was good with a number of heroes in the game and shined in his new role as the midlaner. But one hero, in particular, was reshaped in Dendi’s shadow – it was Pudge. He was the one to start the Mid-Pudge meta, and he went on to deliver some of the best hooks the game of DOTA has ever seen. He was soon regarded as the Pudge-God for his extraordinary playing style and success with the hero. Valve paid homage to Dendi and released a skin on the hero with a Doll of Dendi attached on its back (Dendi Doll).
(Image via Dota2fandom.com)
His infamous “Fountain Hook” is widely regarded as one of the best comebacks in a TI game. That was one of the defining moments of his DOTA 2 career. The world witnessed Fountain Hooks against Tongfu in the upper bracket semi-final of the international. Tongfu was dominating the game and according to many, there was no space for Na’Vi to come back in the game. However, Dendi and his pudge were far from giving up. Dendi teamed up with Puppey and created a spell synergy that astonished the whole world- the fountain hook. Even many years after the match people talk about it as one of the best gameplays of all time. Another big defining moment in Dendi’s career came when his “million-dollar coil” helped Na’Vi win the TI final.
Why Dendi was so popular?
Dendi was a mere teenager when he joined Na’Vi. He went up against the top professional players in their primes. BurNIng, Mushi, KuroKy, Puppey were all dominating the DOTA 2 circuit, EHome was giving nightmares. But he proved himself among these great players and earned a place among them. The sole reason behind his success was not only his gameplay but his down-to-earth nature. He made people across the globe fall in love with the game of DOTA 2. His funny sense of humor was quite popular among his fans. People can argue regarding who is the best DOTA 2 player of all time. But there is no denying the fact that Dendi was the most popular of them all. He became the face of DOTA 2.
|In The International 2015 All-star Match, Dendi sneaked himself in as one of the players chosen from the crowd.|
|Dendi holds the record for most games played with one team- Na’Vi.|
Fall of Dendi: Na’Vi’s demise
But things weren’t so joyous for long. Na’Vi started to experience failures in big tournaments. In TI 5 and TI 6, Na’Vi finished badly, at 16th and 17th place. After this, things went downwards. Na’Vi failed to qualify for TI 7. It was around this time Dendi’s popularity started to fall. New viewers were coming up who cheered for newer players in the scene. With significant departures over the years, the team of Na’Vi started to fall apart. Even so, Dendi remained loyal to Na’vi. But after 2018, he parted ways from Na’Vi when he was removed from the active roster. He joined a couple of teams but was not successful with them. People started to come up with the notion that “Dendi is over”.
The start of something new: B8
Although it occurred to many that Dendi has finally retired, he was not among the ones to give up his passion. He started his own organization: B8. Although the team is currently competing in tier 2 DOTA, it is a piece of good news for the Dendi fans. They can still watch their favorite player playing their favorite game.