NatusVincere has made the huge announcement that Danil “Dendi” Ishutin is no longer part of their DotA 2 organization. In a new video, Yevhen Zolotarov, executive director of Natus Vincere, said that Dendi has been removed after eight years of playing with the team.
The possibility of Dendi’s departure has been extensively discussed lately. Towards the end of June, the captain published a post that gave some insight into the possible decision to leave Na’Vi. The rumors were hardened a week later in an interview with Yevhen, who discussed Dendi’s disappointing performance before TI and how he does not fit into the team’s future plans. He explained that “it is unlikely” for Dendi to stay. Dendi later confirmed that leaving NatusVincere is not a retirement from electronic sports. He is looking for a new team.
In addition to Dendi, Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk, Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini, and coach Alexander “XBOCT” Dashkevich also left the organization, while players from other teams, such as Evgeniy “Blizzy” Ree (Vega Squadron) re-enter the 2018-2019 lineup. The Natus Vincere DotA 2 team now has Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek, Idan “MagicaL” Vardanyan, and Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev. The 5th player will be announced shortly.
In the video statement, Yevhen Zolotarov, executive director of Natus Vincere, explains that he had three choices in team building: to continue with the existing team; build a team around a captain; or just find the right mixture of old and new players to take the team in the right direction.
Obviously, he chose the second option, giving SoNNeikO the captain’s band. Position 4 is vacant at this time as the team tests different players. The 5th player is due to be announced when the team starts preparations for the new season on September 10th.
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin is one of the great legends of eSports and a big name in the world of DotA 2. In the early years of Valve’s MOBA, Dendi was considered one of the best mid laners of the competitive scene. He and his Na’Vi teammates were champions of The International 2011, the first edition of the DotA World Cup. Dendi spent his entire DotA 2 career with Natus Vincere, spanning 8 years.
The first years of Dendi in Na’Vi were the best in the history of the club. After winning in 2011, Na’Vi also managed to get into the grand finals of The International in 2012 and 2013. However, the team lost on both occasions. Luck has not been with the Ukrainian team since then, and although they kept Dendi as captain, the squad made several changes to their roster over the years. But no matter what they did, they couldn’t get it together enough to lift the Aegis. For The International 2017 and 2018, they didn’t even qualify. Since 2014, their best finish in the TI is 8th place.
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