Dota 2 eSports Veterans Who Are Still on the Scene

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)


ESports used to be youngsters’ craft. But times change. It’s been 20 years since the launch of the first Dota and 12 since Dota 2. Athletes are getting older. But regardless of their age, many players don’t plan to leave their favorite game and their primary occupation. Let’s expose them.

Daniil “Dendi” Ishutin

We’ll kick off the list with a live legend. Many events have led Dendi to this title. But let’s go back to the very start.

Dendi’s interest in MOBA games started with Dota All-Stars. Like other successful players of that time, he immediately entered Dota 2 after its launch. Valve has noticed his accomplishments.

At 21, Daniil and his Na’Vi team were invited to the first The International. The game had just come out, and TI started after, so the players were unprepared. However, Dendi and Na’Vi were the best to adapt to these severe conditions.

The team has won the first TI, grabbing $1,000,000 and leaving its mark in Dota 2 history. But Dendi didn’t want to stop. He had 2 more successful attempts in 2012 and 2013, where he took second place both times.

Going deeper into Dendi's playstyle, Pudge has to be mentioned. It was one of Dendi's signature heroes, and his hooks were turning the games around. He is one of the reasons for this character's popularity.

In recent years, Dendi hasn't done very well. Even though he constantly strives to improve, younger players outrun him. Dendi’s and his B8 team's main accomplishment was the 5th place in DPC NA 2023 Tour 2: Division I. It gave him just $25,000.

Clement “Puppey” Ivanov

You can’t mention Dendi in this list and ignore Puppey. It would be a crime. Puppey was not just a member of the Na’Vi team who got the first Aegis of The International, but its captain.

Clement’s contribution to Na’Vi’s wins was enormous. He decided the game plans, including heroes picked and macro moves. He was accountable for wins.

But unlike Dendi’s, Puppey’s triumph doesn’t end on the Na’Vi. Clement has gone on. After leaving Na’Vi in 2014, he immediately joined Team Secret. That’s when he shone.

Among the TS, Puppey has grabbed many 1st places, including major events, Shanghai Major and Dream League. But these were insignificant compared to the following.

Puppey has grabbed 4th, 3rd, and 2nd places in the 2019, 2021, and 2022 TIs. This has given him and Team Secret more than $8,000,000! While Puppey's total prizes throughout his entire career are $4,222,861.

At the moment, Clement keeps grinding alongside Team Secret. And it seems like it lacks something. TS wasn’t even able to qualify for The International 11, which is unlike them.

But as the recent Clement’s interviews indicate, the captain is not planning to retire. Conversely, he enhances his grind. He has to. Many might think his age of 33 holds him down as a player, but it’s not.

He has an enormous bank of game knowledge. So Puppey might strike back at any time. And once he does, the bookmakers won’t anticipate it. The odds will be amazing. That’s the exact time when betting might give you x5+ profit.

Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang

Now, if we take the location of the two previous players and travel as far from them on the globe, the chances we’ll get to the iceiceice’s motherland. This 32-year-old Singaporean player has quite a story.

Daryl’s professional playing story begins in the same The International 2011. He was pretty good there. But he couldn’t outrun Na’Vi, leaving him with a third place.

In the upcoming years, iceiceice was active and attended many competitions with Team DK. He got 1st place in the Starladder and WPC. Then, he switched to the iconic Vici Gaming team.

With them, he has performed as an offlaner and won a booming Summit and i-League. A year later, he once again struck the eSports scene, scoring 2nd place at the demanding Asia Championship 2015. Quickly after, iceiceice was about to change many teams.

The Singaporean has been to EHOME, Team Faceless, Mineski, Fnatic, Evil Geniuses, Team Secret, and Team SMG. By 2023, his team search ended at the Bleed ESports. But he could’ve stopped.

Within all this playing time, Daryl has got enough cash not to worry about working anymore. His total winnings are $1,813,798.