posted by EskayDota,
A love story
We have to start with Dota 2’s classic love story; Aui_2000 and Universe. They began their story together on Team Dignitas, a promising North American roster featuring Fogged, JingJun 'Sneyking' Wu and Peter 'Waytosexy' Nguyen. Their first chapter together concluded with a 9th-12th place finish at TI3. They had spent a brief 9 months together, but it was obviously enough for one of Dota’s most iconic partnerships to form.
The two didn’t play together again until a space opened up on Evil Geniuses. Saahil 'Universe' Arora had famously sourced Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan, and with the departure of Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev to Team Secret, the North American roster had another spot open. Inviting Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling to join EG, the pair reunited and quickly reaped the rewards.
The songs that the pair wrote and performed with one another were something that gave the fans drive to support them; it put their wholesome relationship on display. It was obvious that they were good friends, reunited and excited to play on a team together again. Their passion and drive would be an obvious benefit to them as a pair, and their TI5 victory together solidified just how iconic of a duo they were.
After their International success and PPD’s infamous kicking of Aui, the pair would have to bide their time before they could play together again. In the mid months of 2018, the pair would reunite as their links brought Aui_2000 to coach Fnatic in the SEA region. The rest is history, and Aui has been coaching whichever team Universe is on since; right up until the departures from Forward Gaming. Time will tell if we see the iconic partnership stick it out in a new adventure.
Bai 'rOtK' Fan and Xu 'BurNIng' Zhilei are two huge names in Dota 2. Icons in their own right, these players are staples of successful Chinese teams. Having played together on a number of different occasions, their adored teams and sibling-like banter is something all Dota 2 fans appreciate.
Beginning their story together on Team DK in 2011. Playing together at TI2 and TI3 on fan favourites DK, the two established themselves from the very early days of Dota as two players that not only complimented each other’s styles of play, but clearly enjoyed each other’s company. They intermittently joined each other’s rosters, with the pair playing together on Big God and Vici Gaming through the years.
From time to time they cast together, in Chinese, and it provides a wealth of memes, banter and voice lines. It makes the two legends incredibly personable to the fans, and a hilarious combination to watch Dota to. Legends in game and out, rOtk and Burning’s friendship is one that is almost lacking in the Western scene. Some snippets of their commentary:
The Golden Boys
Synonymous with Dota 2 itself; Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin and Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov. Who could be more iconic than the man that was brought into the mainstream media alongside the game he loved, and one of the most consistently successful players of all time. TI1’s Na’Vi was one of the most iconic rosters, and two of the most loved players of that roster make sense to be the most iconic duo.
Winning the first TI together was one thing, but having the friendship that they did was another. In a time where there wasn’t endless media and interviews surrounding each player, Dendi and Puppey dominated the light-hearted, comedic interview appearances. Their goofy personalities were a pleasure to watch in and out of the games. Fans adored them for their ability and desire to make people laugh as much as their skill in game.
Not only did they just play together for Natus Vincere, but fulfilling the ultimate reprise, Dendi stood in for Secret after his departure from Na’Vi. Their appearances together at International all-star matches proves to be one of the highlights for fans, as they get to see two of their favourite icons reunited once more. Many hope to see them playing together again in the future, although the state of things as it stands looks like the pair might remain competitors for a while.
Header image credit: Valve