Issue 51, November 2012.

The Ukrainian cyber sport scene never stands still, it is constantly moving, changing, growing - magazines, cyber sport TV shows, sponsored gamers and teams are present more than ever. There is a clear trend towards a rapidly developing and solid e-sports future. Today the Dota, which includes the Warcraft III Mod Defense of the Ancients and its stand-alone sequel Dota2, are amongst the most popular electronic sports games played professionally in the country. Dota2, a multi-player online battle arena game, is known for its long lasting matches—comparable to chess on speed.
Dota2 made its public debut at The International, hosted by Valve Corporation in 2011, in which the grand prize of one million dollars, the largest ever in electronic sports history, was awarded to the champions – team Natus Vincere, a player of «Dendi» from Lviv.

1. While you are a very popular player, there are still a few people who do not know too much about you. Could you please start off this interview by introducing yourself and tell us more about your gaming background?
I think there are tons of people who don't know anything about me, especially in Lviv. But that’s not a bad thing; I don't search for fame. My name is Ishutin Danylo, my nickname is Dendi. I am 22 y.o. and have been playing games for a long time, I’ve played Dota for close to 5 years now, and Dota2 for almost a year and a half.

2. Parents are usually reticent to see their kids playing video games instead of having a “real” job. What do your parents think about your gaming career? Was it hard for them at some point to understand your choice?

At first, like all parents, they were against it, but now, after looking at my results - they are fine with what I’m doing (but even I, myself, would not like my children to play computer games that much) I don't have a job right now and I don't think of gaming as a job, it’s only a hobby for me. It's hard to understand my choice, however I get a lot of pleasure by doing what I’m doing and this isn’t bad. All my parents care about right now – is health, which is the most important thing when you do anything.

3. You are only 22 years old and yet, you are a full-time pro-gamer. Did you manage to finish your studies before turning pro-gamer? What other interests do you have besides gaming?
It's hard to call my pro-gaming "full-time", because I have tons of free time. The other part of story is how I use this time. I am very dedicated to what I am doing, and care about people who cheer me on and trust in what I’m doing. There are a lot of people who have my back! Our contract says that we’re supposed to play "approximately 18 hours" per week. Think of that, is it much? Maybe, but we play even more, because we want to improve our results. I studied and practiced at the same time. I love many things, but rarely do them. Mostly I focus on perfecting myself as a player and a person.

4. Your team became $1,000,000 richer after winning Dota 2 — The International tournament, what have you done with your share of the prize money?
I bought an ice-cream  In other words, let's keep it a secret.

5. This tournament attracted thousands of viewers from different backgrounds and regions of the globe. Knowing this, what do you think about the future of Ukrainian Dota 2 players?
Even with so much attention, e-sport is still very weak. But it is growing quickly and it's all about investing money into it. At the moment, people don't see how profitable it can be for them to invest money into it. But in a few years, it will become big (it is growing from year to year). It's very hard to get to the level that we achieved. So it's pretty hard for new players who are starting their careers and you need to work a lot to grow as a player.

6. The Dota scene is growing exponentially making it is easier to make money from this game. Do you plan to become a full time Dota player or do you plan to work in another area?
Dota is growing, but not that fast! The game is still in its beta-stage. You can look at League Of Legends (a game with much lower IQ requirement) and it’s huge right now! But I think Dota2 can get bigger in the near future. Of course there will be a lot of money involved.
I’m not planning anything right now. I am just trying to enjoy my life, but I am sure I can find something to do if I stop playing DOTA2.


7. Some retired players decided to coach a team or become shoutcasters. Do you have any plans for when you retire?
I don't plan to retire, at least not before "The International 3". So for now I don't have any plans like that. It would be easy to become shoutcaster with such a huge base of knowledge.

8. Thank you very much for your time and is there something you would like to say to your fans? Any word for the female community?
Thanks to everyone who cheers us on - you are our inspiration and motivation. And to all people who have no clue about Dota2 - try it :) it's an awesome game. You won't regret spending time on it and “Hello” to the female community!