Which free agents should Dendi team up with?

posted by Smyke,
Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin leaving Natus Vincere is the end of a long era. The midlaner played almost eight years for the Ukrainian organization. For him, it's now time to reach out for players outside of the CIS region.
Dendi is, or at least was, one of the most talented midlaners in the scene. At the beginning of Dota 2, he was one of the most skilled players in the game. Although he didn't have the chance to prove his talent against the best for a while, fans do have the opinion he could still compete with the likes of Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan or Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi.

To succeed he would need a team that would give him the support he needs, so he can concentrate completely on his lane. The first step for that would be to have an established captain. Since Blinkpool* disbanded after not qualifying for The International 2018, one of the best captains in the scene is available.

Misery is the leader Dendi needs

Rasmus 'MiSeRy' Fillipsen already led one team into the Grand Finals of TI and is known for his strict leading - he would be a fitting position five for a new team around Dendi.

The position four changed a lot over the years. Right now it's way more skill based than it was years ago. In fact, the second support can be a playmaker nowadays. The best examples for that are Maroun 'Gh' Merhej, Yazied 'YapzOr' Jaradat or Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka. They aren't just good supports, but extremely skilled Dota 2 players as well.

If we look at the current free agent list, two names popped up who'd be a perfect fit for the role: Axel 'PABLO' Källman and Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk.

While the Swedish player shows a lot of potential, Lil already competed with the best in the world and demonstrated his skill. Although his last months were pretty rough, he could find his motivation again and be the perfect support for Dendi's team.

Did Dendi and Lil work well at Na'Vi?

We know for sure that Lil's team at Na'Vi wasn't that successful, but maybe he was missing the leadership Aleksey 'Solo' Berezin provided before. He'd have to give Misery the control he needs. If that is not the case, Pablo could be the right choice. And who knows? Maybe Pablo could be the next big star just like Topson. Another question is whether or not Dendi and Lil got along at Na'Vi.

For the offlane David 'Moonmeander' Tan could be the perfect choice after leaving compLexity Gaming. He's not a world class offlaner, but he knows how to play his role. A lot of people forget him when they talk about the early success of OG.

He wouldn't be in the spotlight in a team with Dendi as well, but could be the base for a solid formation. Another option is the German offlaner Maurice 'KheZu' Gutmann.

The only problem is: he recently mentioned in an interview that he considers to captain a team. In this team he'd still be captained by Misery.


The only role left is a good hard carry and since we're searching for one in the free agent list, there are three players who'd fit that role: Jacky 'EternaLEnVy' Mao, Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier or David 'Moo' Hull.

Black didn't play professionally for quite some time, but was always one of the most driven players. If he gets a stable team that he can rely on, he could find back to his old form. At the same time, that would be risky move. A safer choice would be Moo who recently played with Moonmeander at coL. That could be a good axe to start in a team.

On the other hand, EE is one of the strongest hard carries around and could be the factor the team needs to compete on tier one level. He can play a lot of heroes and he isn't afraid of playing risky strats. Under the leadership of Misery, EE could be as good as back on Team Secret.

A potential Dendi lineup:
ca Jacky 'EternaLEnVy' Mao/ us David 'Moo' Hull/ de Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier
ua Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin
ca David 'Moonmeander' Tan/ de Maurice 'KheZu' Gutmann
ua Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk/ se Axel 'PABLO' Källman
dk Rasmus 'MiSeRy' Fillipsen

Who would you like to see in a team with Dendi?

Photo credit: DreamHack - Jennika Ojala