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Credit: B8 Twitter

Dendi on fielding a stable roster: “Very different issues with different rosters”


Danil "Dendi" Ishutin sat down for a chat where he speaks about his departure from NaVi, forming his own organization, struggles fielding a stable roster and more.

Phoenix

Hey Danil, thank you for providing this interview for us! Let’s get right into it. What inspired you to start your own esports org, B8, after departing Natus Vincere?

Dendi

Hello there! It took me a while to realise as to which step I should take next. A lot of people close to me, from my surroundings, were pushing me to create my own organization and I guess it was the right time for it.

Phoenix

It must have been an emotional moment to leave an org that was like a second home to you. Was forming your own org one of the reasons behind leaving Natus Vincere?

Dendi

Natus Vincere is still a home for me. I spent 8 years of my life with this brand, giving my very best and living through different times. I learnt a lot and met a lot of great people and friends, that helped me reach where I am today, and I’m extremely grateful to everyone.

I always feel myself as a part of it and even leaving won’t make it any different. Forming my own org is just a new and a different chapter of my life which is very exciting as well as challenging for me.

Phoenix

More importantly, why didn’t you make the change earlier by leaving NaVi and trying out with another team?

Dendi

Firstly, I get very used to people around me and start bonding really quickly. I felt that I owed something to many people there, those who have helped me throughout the years. Also, I always have a huge trust in my team and believe that you can build something very strong, no matter what, if you work hard and try to fix all the problems that appear.

“I felt that I owed something to many people there, those who have helped me throughout the years”.

Phoenix

Ever since B8 was formed, fielding a stable roster has been a point of worry. What issues were/are you facing while fielding a stable roster?

Dendi

Very different issues with different rosters. I am learning a lot about the building process, how to make things right or how not to repeat the same mistakes again. Players usually want to see the results here and now.

But it depends on where you stand at the start, how hard you are willing to work and how you can deal with different problems that appear. Not everyone has a lot of experience usually on those points and not everyone is ready to listen and learn/improve.

We “humans” usually learn from our own mistakes 🙂

Phoenix

What is the idea behind recruiting your teammates in terms of qualities, playstyle, etc.?

Dendi

I am trying to find talented, hard working players who are ready to work with different people around and for the long term. It's much easier to work with people who are ready to listen, just like I am open to listening myself since it’s always a learning process.

Source: B8 Twitter

Phoenix

Nonetheless, your current roster is a mix of young and upcoming talent with the exception of NoFear and yourself that are familiar with playing Dota 2 on the big stage. What was the reason behind collaborating with these youngsters?

Dendi

I saw a lot of potential in TSA and we tried to find players that could fit into the team and be willing to listen and learn. So Limitless and Watson were a good fit.

Phoenix

Have you ever felt the need to switch your role?

Dendi

I've never felt the need to switch the role, but if needed, I am always open to it. I think I can play every role, except maybe carry as I feel that it is a bit boring for me. I just need time to adapt and learn.

I’ve spent 15 years playing Dota and if my team requires me to switch roles, then I’ll gladly do that. I’m only trying to provide as much as I can from my side.

Phoenix

For someone who has won the highest accolade in Dota 2, such as TI, you’ve been struggling to keep playing at the highest level for quite some time now. Have you ever felt demoralized for not being able to play or compete on the big stage in recent times? Do you miss it and how badly do you want it to happen again?

Dendi

Of course! I’ve felt sad numerous times as I’m not able to compete at the highest level right now. But I firmly believe that time will put everything in its place. I am super motivated and working hard towards my goals. I miss beating the best a lot and the strive of competing is in my nature (sic).

“I’ve felt sad numerous times as I’m not able to compete at the highest level right now. But I firmly believe that time will put everything in its place”.

Phoenix

What keeps you motivated to play Dota 2 on a professional level even to this day? Has the recent string of “failures” reinvigorated your vigour to work even harder to prove that you’re still a top-notch player?

Dendi

I truly believe that I can compete with the best on all levels. I am very open to learning and improving everyday. And everyday/month/year I work only harder and harder. Failures always push you forward. Sometimes when it knocks you down, you need to learn to get up 🙂

Phoenix

You’ve been and will always be the face of Dota, at least in my and many others’ view. If you’d like to nominate someone as the newest face of Dota from the current mix of new players, then who would it be and why?

Dendi

I love watching a lot of players and out of respect, I’m not going to choose 🙂

Phoenix

Where do you see B8, let’s say, 5 years down the line? Any plans on expanding to other game titles?

Dendi

Definitely we are watching different game titles and are planning to expand. I would love people around the world to enjoy esports and share this love with them across the globe.

Phoenix

Is leading a young team posing a challenge to be at your best at all times, considering the fact that your teammates must look up to you in many ways, especially since they are literally playing with one of the biggest stars to ever grace the game?

Dendi

I am just trying to be myself and frankly speaking I do not view myself as a star. I keep on working and improving with the guys and just try to share my experience in esports with everyone.

Source: B8 Twitter

Phoenix

Kindly share your thoughts on the current format of the DPC Regional League in general? Is it working as intended towards the betterment of the scene or is the current system still not good enough?

Dendi

I think this system is amazing for the viewers. But maybe it's a bit too hard for the players (or maybe we haven't got used to it yet) to be the most productive. We want to stay in bootcamp while we compete in the DPC, but staying in bootcamp for almost 2 months is extremely difficult.

So we are still searching for ways to balance things and not burn out ourselves, keep growing and show our best results at the same time. If I’m not wrong we are seeing an influx of more and more viewers watching Dota daily so I guess the system is working 🙂

Phoenix

What is your biggest regret in recent times (in the past few years) from a professional as well as personal standpoint?

Dendi

I don't have any regrets. I am enjoying where I am right now. I really like the way things are going and see more and more super talented people around me.

Phoenix

Alright Danil, that’s a wrap. Anything you’d like to say before we sign off?

Dendi

I am ultra grateful for all the support we are getting. Thanks to everybody who is cheering and following us. I hope everyone stays happy and healthy. Come watch me on stream sometime 🙂

Thank you for the interview!