In 1997, somewhere in Lviv, Ukraine, a young boy had his first taste of PC Gaming on a classic CRT Monitor and a heavy as heck CPU. What he didn’t know about this newfound passion is that it will be his road to success for the rest of his life. In 2003, he became an avid player of Warcraft 3. His fondness of this game was no surprise to know about his discovery of Defense of the Ancients, a Warcraft mod that will soon change the face of modern multiplayer, Tower Defense and Real-Time Strategy Games forever. He became addicted to it, and soon, he was a natural professional of the game. That boy’s name is Danylo Ishutin, most popularly known as “Dendi”.
Dendi is one of those personalities in both eSports and Twitch that is unique compared to others—he may be a worldwide celebrity in the world of DotA, however, he acts like he’s just another player like all of us. That humbleness and meek character along with his signature heart-warming smile has brought him love from fans the world over. Without a doubt, Dendi is not just one of the, if not, the best player in DotA as well as the most beloved. You can say that he IS the face of DotA. His name is forever synonymous to the smash hit MOBA game.
The Pro Scene
Danylo was quickly noticed by the team Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) and without hesitation, he accepted their offer of him being enlisted in their ranks. 2011 would become his breakout year after the very first The International—the world championship that invited 16 teams all over the world to compete for 1.6 million dollars – the biggest prize pool of the year and still one of the highest rated eSports events for the past 10 years. It was also the year that soon made him and his team the very first World Champion of DotA 2 as well as earning international fame. It seemed like there was just no stopping Na’Vi as they continued to dominate tournament after tournament, making them the gods of the MOBA game.
He was also most known for his Pudge plays with insane hooks and in-your-face strategies; especially that one tournament during ESWC finals in 2011, where he annihilated the whole crew of EHOME, with people calling his execution speed as “one Chinese per minute”. Naturally, after that game, Pudge was always the first ban in any Draft game, both pro league and for the players at home on Comp.
In 2012, however, Na’Vi suddenly became gods that bleed. In The International 2, they went up against another formidable foe—China’s very own Invictus Gaming. A neck-and-neck match brewed, the audience excited and the game was unpredictable. Yet in the end, Dendi and the rest of his team were no match for China’s pro team. Despite the loss of the game, he still gained the affection of the people, earning a standing ovation as he exited the stage, with his dazzling smile brightening up the arena.
If you thought 2012 had it rough for Na’Vi, 2013 was nothing better; the roster was changed, the matches they played weren’t as consistent as they were a couple of years back and a lot of the long-time fans were just in mixed reactions towards their favorite team. Yet, Na’Vi put up a show-stopping performance at The International 3, against what would become one of their strongest archrivals—the Swedish team Alliance. In the grand finals, it became a sweat-induced battle between the two European countries, knowing that in the end, only one will win the 2 million-dollar prize pool. After hours of intense battle, leading up to a Game 5, in conclusion, the Swedish team had taken over the once-immortal Ukranian squad.
The loss has taken its toll on Na’Vi for the next 3 years—in TI 2014, they were halted at a measly 8th place. 2015 turned into the downfall of the once-powerful giants of Ukraine, getting eliminated in TI 5 on a disappointing 13th place. At that point, the fame was slowly fading away from both Dendi and Na’Vi as a whole.
2016 was a shocker to the entire DotA community, as they announced they were disbanding, following the mess of a game in TI 6, leaving them at 6th. However, a few days later, there was a strip of luck as long-time players SoNNeikO and Dendi have restored the time with a revamped roster.
Unfortunately, The International 2017 was the very first-time Na’Vi didn’t show up. But not all was sad as they put up a great show in the Manila Majors on that same year, showcasing that Dendi and Na’Vi were back on track. Hopefully, after such great impression, they might just have a slot for TI 2018.
On Twitch and YouTube
Dendi may not be a frequent caster for both Twitch and YouTube, however, whenever he does upload, there are so many fans tuning in. In fact, according to Twitchmetrics.com, Dendi is the 2nd most Followed personality in the DotA community of the website with 581,549 followers, coming behind BeyondTheSummit, which has 631,482 Followers.
Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin is a staple name in the MOBA community—a hero of the masses, and a beloved icon. If you want to see his streams, go on to http://twitch.tv/dendi and be in touch with him via his twitter @DendiBoss.