Dendi Leaving Na’Vi and Closing An Eight-Year Chapter

A legend may be calling it a team. Danil “Dendi” Ishutin is said to be considering dropping from Natus Vincere’s roster, in turn, one of the most iconic teams in the history of Dota 2. This is an earth-shattering moment for fan and player alike. Dendi, the silent hero and superb mid-player, may be thinking that the time for a change has come.

Dendi the Legend – A Suave Player with a Lot of Merit

When competitive Dota was a toddler and I wanted to be part of the action, scrimmaging with my teams of no-goods and playing in the company of Splendour, a Heroes of the Storm pro, and working through college, Dendi had already written the rules on how to be a professional. It wasn’t just skill he demonstrated, it was also respect – for his fellow players and opponents.

A streamer and winner of the first Dota 2 The International event back in 2011, Dendi’s Natus Vincere (Na’VI) stint began much earlier. Na’Vi were tearing down teams and conquering what summits the game had at the dawn of its competitive age.

Dendi was more than a mere player. He was an iconic pro who dedicated hours helping others, streaming and offering insightful tips. He wasn’t anything of the sort of SingSing and AdmiralBulldog who were amusing and boisterous players. Dendi was composed, listening to funky tunes and often having to answer questions about his excellent taste in music as well as school the majority of YouTubers how to play better in the Mid Lane.

Much has changed it seems, because Dendi maybe in fact leaving the team that he helped create. Is this coming at the right time, though? After all, the Dota 2 squad disbanded once already.

The Long-Anticipated Changes

Dendi and Na’Vi did exceptionally in both the inaugural The International event and the subsequent events in 2012 and 2013. Following that time, they just started waning. After their early drop-out in 2014, fans were disappointed, but the Dota 2 action expanded at such a meteoric pace that nobody really could complain much about any shortage of teams to back.

The confusion that followed in the years after that was enough, though, to dissuade Na’Vi enthusiast and even Na’Vi themselves that thing would go well after. Many reasons can be cited for Na’Vi’s decline. Hailing mostly from Ukraine, the players had earned enough to buy themselves a comfortable life and to perhaps branch out in other activities, though for a long while they were still competing at the highest level.

Call it a complacency if you will, but they simply stopped winning and a small part of that may be because of their realization that they had earned the ultimate recognition and acknowledgement by the community. Apparently not all players have thought like that, though, as Dendi is now apparently moving on, as he posted on Twitter.

Na’Vi CEO Yevhen Zolatorov posted a video explaining that the team will now refocus its efforts on kbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev and Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek, a known support-carry combination. Puppey, another Dota 2 professional and former Na’Vi member had moved on long before Dendi.

Na’Vi may be in trouble and a presence and legacy such as the one Dendi and Puppey left is hard to re-create, indeed.

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