Through the years, many people have witnessed the rise of esports into the global scene, most notably the game called Dota 2. Along with its popularity, everyone witnessed some personalities come and go, but it is undeniable how these people contributed a lot to this scene.
From extraordinary feats and stories in and out of the game, players of Dota shared a special bond among with these people who gave more than their all to boost the pro scene’s success.
The man, the myth, the legend
When one mentions the Los Angeles Lakers, the first thing that comes into their mind is Kobe Bryant, known as NBA’s Black Mamba. For the Dota community, we have our very own version of Kobe, the one and only, Danil “Dendi” Ishutin who played for Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) from 2011 to September 2018.
The Supamida embarked on his road to professional DoTA when he was 17. However, the 28-year old Ukrainian native played other games such as Counter Strike and Warcraft 3 on local net cafés before he began tinkering with DOTA. The Supamida started as a support and played with several Ukraine-based DoTA teams before he transitioned into Dota 2 under Na’Vi’s banner.
Known for the very first millionaire coil, the famous fountain hook, and one of the greatest Invoker players of his time, Dendi was admired by many not just for his in-game skills, but also for his great character.
“One way to forget about pain is to do something that you will be in completely”, Ishutin said as he described how computer games shaped his life for Valve’s documentary film entitled FREE TO PLAY.
Together two other players of the first international Dota 2 tournament, the documentary featured Dendi’s struggles and journey to become one of the scene’s elite and later on to hold the Aegis of Champions. In the hour-long documentary, supporters of the game knew who Dendi is off the computer.
Ever since the documentary, the Pudge God gained more fans primarily because of his happy-go-lucky attitude. He was the epitome of a positive mental attitude and even now, his personality became every fan’s favorite, from the all-star match against Puppey in 2013, up to his tour in Vancouver in The International 2018.
Despite him leaving Na’Vi and playing as stand-in for several teams today, his timeless skill and contagious smile will always symbolize a ray of positivity to all players and this the reason why he will always be remembered as the greatest mid player to walk Dota’s lanes.
The voice of dota 2
They're all together now, PPD.... Here comes the Ice Blast ready for the DUNKKK!!! ITS FROM UNIVERSE!!! ITS A DISATERRRR!!! CDEC they're gonna get wiped from the face of the earth apart from Aggressif, he'll jump out! But the wombo combo... Perfectly hits from EVIL GENIUSES and now they will take Roshan!
One of the most iconic moments of The International, but became more iconic for none other than Toby “TobiWan” Dawson. The Australian commentator known for his hyped and poetic castings not only in Dota, but for every game he stumbles to cast upon.
Being known as one of the most intense casters in dota 2, TobiWan crossed many oceans before he became the great variety caster he is today. He began his casting career from the first -person shooter game entitled Call of Duty (CoD) after the immense support of fans pushed his name to be invited in his first ever casting gig in World Cyber Games in Singapore on 2005.
Despite only playing three games of DoTA back then, Tobi was chosen to cast the Warcraft games on the same event since other volunteer casters have absolutely zero experience of the game. Then, the rest was history.
Before he became prominent in the casting scene, TobiWan honed his skills by casting different games such as Starcraft II and Counter Strike Source and in late 2010, he made a decision that would later change his life. Moving to Berlin, Tobi was the front man of the joinDOTA, a website that started as a podcast and later on expanded to forums, this decision opened him many doors, including the opportunity of casting Valve’s The International. From then, he rose to become one of the scene’s greatest talents by hype-casting major Dota 2 tournaments
For his notable and praise-worthy talents, the multi-awarded caster decided to venture and share his talents by leaving joinDOTA to pursue other gaming endeavors. This iconic caster is loved by everyone for the way he improves the beauty of Dota through his signature Aussie accent and ability to hype the crowd no matter what. In addition, TobiWan is praised for guiding young casters by sharing tips and experiences from his career, molding future talents that we may get to see for more TI’s to come.
A beacon of hope and inspiration
With the thrilling nature of Dota, there is one person whose presence acts like a breeze of wind that calms everyone around her. A talented desk host, this infamous ravager is known for slaying Miracle in a pub and currently winning her toughest battle to date is the wonderful Jorien "Sheever" van der Heijden.
At a young age, Sheever became invested and well-known in Warcraft under the raiding guild called Ascendance and because of it, she is one of the recipients of a Dota 2 beta key. After agreeing to cast to an amateur Dota tournament, Sheever became a caster of the esports statistics website called GosuGamers, but disbanded a year after 2012.
After what happened, Sheever still remained at the scene as a prominent host, caster, and panelist, with The International 2012 being her first stint as a commentator. Her talents took her to more places as she was almost always invited to every major tournament whether as an analyst, host, and interviewer. After every devastating or triumphant games from TI players, she was there to console or congratulate them, but on 2017, tables have turned for her as she faced one of life’s toughest battles— cancer.
On May 2017, the Dota community was shocked when Sheever revealed that she has breast cancer. It was a difficult time for her, but according to her blog, sheevergaming.com, the professional esports caster shared how surprised she was from the support and kind messages given by the Dota community around the world. Stream donations flooded with messages of encouragement and how they won their own battles against cancer. Due to chemotherapy, Sheever missed out on some casting events, but the Dota community made sure that she was not alone in her battle, supporting her with #SheeverFighting.
After completing 12 chemos and 16 radiotherapies, Sheever announced in her blog that she will undergo breast reconstruction surgery on December.
“A year ago I was worried that getting cancer was going to be the end of my career. It was not. Better yet, I think I might be better at my job now than I was before. I have grown as a person and I feel like that translates into me being a better desk host”, said Sheever about her current state in a blog post published online last July 8.
During The International 2018, a tribute for Sheever was broadcasted. In an emotional interview with her, her family, friends, and partner, Owen "ODPixel" Davies, they all shared how they managed to pull through during their most devastating times. The segment touched everyone’s hearts for it seemed that everyone in the Dota community is a part of big family who saw one of their family members kick cancer right in the ass.
The way the Dota community supported her. She was the woman that everyone praised and respected because of her amazing insights, deep understanding of the game, and the way she brings her relatable personality to the panel. Most importantly, Sheever came back stronger and better than ever, and with the Dota community behind her, she could be deemed as the Queen who slain cancer.
Her story will always be an inspiration to everyone, that no matter how difficult life may get, it is always important to know that there will always be people who will be there and give light through one’s dark times.
The Dota community is like a family who sometimes fight, but at the end of the day, everyone will support each other for they believe that the passion for the game is a bond strong enough. These three people are only a part of the few people who brings this family a lot closer outside the game.
To end this feature, everyone should reflect about what Sheever discussed about silver linings on her blog:
“Let’s end on a positive note. Because I might have a lot to complain about, I also have a lot to be happy for.”