The most iconic Dota 2 player in history may be changing teams for the first time in seven years.
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, who played an instrumental role in establishing Na’Vi as an esports powerhouse, may find himself playing for another team. The midlaner helped Na’Vi win the first International event in 2011, and also pushed the team to two more consecutive grand final appearances at the tournament in 2012 and 2013.
Since 2014, however, Na’Vi’s Dota 2 team have struggled to reach the same level of success, and have undergone radical roster changes in the past. Now, it seems as if Dendi will be one of the players that the organization considers cutting for the first time.
In a vlog, Na’Vi CEO Yevhen Zolotarov elaborated on the course the organization has decided to take after failing to make an impact in the inaugural Dota 2 Pro Circuit. After much deliberation, which included a potential acquisition of the North American VGJ.Storm roster, the organization instead settled on building the lineup around support player Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev. The team will also retain its carry player Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek.
Although Zolotarov mentioned that Dendi is still officially under contract with the organization, Dendi himself posted a statement on Twitter in which he seemed to acknowledge that he won’t be continuing with the Na’Vi.
Despite the lack of results, Dendi’s reputation has far exceeded the world of competitive Dota 2, and is considered an icon in esports at-large.