Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, born in Lviv, Ukraine is one of the most loved and quirkiest pro players out there. Dendi’s unexpected plays, the dream coil and fountain hook, have made him one of the most respected and loved players. He has become the face of Dota 2.
Dendi’s Humble Beginnings
Image credit to dotacs.ru
Son of a piano teacher, Dendi’s childhood consisted of music and dance. In fact, his first home PC was bought with substantial help from his grandmother in 1997. Dendi cultivated his gaming skills spending hours and hours on Counter-Strike and Warcraft 3 initially. That’s when he stumbled across Dota and began by playing support heroes. Soon, he was competing in local leagues and, before long, began his professional career at the age of 17.
Natus Vincere Superstar
Dendi’s first professional team was Wolker Gaming in 2006, where the team finished third in MYM Prime Nations that year. After a few months, Wolker Gaming was able to reach the grand finale of one of the most prestigious tournaments at the time: MYM Prime Defending. Dendi changed quite a few teams before joining Natus Vincere on the Christmas of 2010.
Na’ Vi immediately established itself as one of the best teams in the world by winning The International 2011. Na’ Vi continued to dominate and won a lot of tournaments in 2011, and were runners-up for 2012 and 2013 losing out to Invictus Gaming and Alliance respectively. Dendi was at the center of Na’ Vi’s constant skilled rosters, his performance greatly contributing to their success.
Image credit to Valve | Dota 2.
Natus Vincere and Dendi’s dream-run dominance in the Dota 2 scene started deteriorating in 2014. The team only saw two LAN victories in the year. The International 2014 saw Na’ Vi finishing the tournament outside of the top two for the first time. The next two Internationals, TI 5 and TI 6, were last-place finishes for the team. The International 2017 was worse; they didn’t even qualify.
TI7 marked the first time where Dendi wasn’t an attending player. Although Na’Vi had a promising start to the season, the second half saw the roster break apart. They were unable to reach the regional qualifiers of The International 2018, after losing in the open qualifiers.
After years of instability and bad results, Na’ Vi and Dendi decided to part ways. He was removed from the active roster in September 2018 and joined Tigers and The Pango, among a few other teams who were not quite successful. This shed new light on his career since this would be the first time he would be casting The International 2019, TI9 saw Dendi as a guest caster.
Team B8’s Dendi
After TI9 finished, Dendi decided to continue competing as a player. In January 2020, he developed his own organization, B8. B8 has become quite popular among fans for all the wrong reasons. For instance, no one expected them to set a record for the team with the longest losing streak. A grim situation was at hand, and it was evident that things needed to change. Therefore, hard carry Steve “Xcalibur Ye” and hard support Nikola “LeBronDota” Popović were released.
At the moment, B8 is on a much-needed break. Hopefully, they come back stronger and long-time fans will see Dendi in some exhilarating action.
Written by Chandan Padhi