Keep Calm and Oppa Dendi Style
Have you chosen your favorite team for your Compendium yet? We know ours... Like many teams, our Born to Win squad has experienced its ups and downs over the years, but Natus Vincere has always had the support of an amazing group of fans. We're proud of our players and hope you are too, so we want to celebrate some of the things that make our guys so unique.
ArtStyle is notorious in the Dota 2 community and gained notoriety with Na'Vi in particular when he captained the original squad to victory in the first International in 2011. His reign heralded a golden age in Na'Vi gaming and solidified his reputation as one of Dota 2's greatest captains. He departed the team after TI and played for a few different teams before fading from the pro scene for a period of time. Much to the delight of our fans, however, ArtStyle returned to Na'Vi in April 2015, bringing his legendary captain skills, and adding stability to the team that had been in a period of struggling and difficult roster changes. Now, they're stronger than ever. Is it time for a second golden age?
Learn more by watching our movie on the life and eSports career of ArtStyle.
Na'Vi offlaner Funn1k also returned to the team in April 2015 after a brief hiatus following The International 2014. While he's often less often found in the limelight compared to other members of the team, Funn1k has been making plays for Na'Vi since 2013. He's well-known for his signature heroes, like Batrider, Clockwerk and Clinkz. He's also the famous win brother of American acress Chloe Moretz. OK, not really, but we love him for the uncanny resemblance and general acceptance of being called a girl's name by members of the community. Check out our tribute video for Funn1k:
Despite being the least tenured of the team, our youngest player has quickly made a place for himself in Na'Vi fandom with the skill and precision of his support play. LD even called him the next fy, much to Vici's dismay.
— ViCi Gaming (@ViCi_Gaming) January 15, 2015
Most recently, SoNNeikO has earned much-deserved credit for his performance during the TI5 qualifiers, often being called the MVP of the tournament, particularly for his Winter Wyvern. We admit it, sometimes our Na'Vi team gets a bit aggressive, but we're glad for SoNNeikO being there to bail them out in times like this:
XBOCT may be the only original member of the Na'Vi Dota squad from its inception, but he is probably its most polarizing. Saying XBOCT has an aggressive play style would be a gross understatement. Of course, his reckless disregard for his own life can backfire, and when it does, the community is always there to reinforce it with a resounding cry of "4," a reference to past ranking from Beyond the Summit, rating his skill as a carry as a 4/10. XBOCT now takes it in stride, admitting in a recent AMA that he's getting used to the reference.
Regardless, XBOCT's long history with Natus Vincere has certainly been a successful one: he's still listed on liquipdedia as the top premier tournament medalist (tied with Dendi and Puppey), and he definitely keeps games interesting. When he's channeling his inner honey badger, you're likely to see a rapier-happy XBOCT Gyrocopter destroying the enemy team with reckless abandon and a smile on his face. #YoloXBOCT
Dendi the Superman. Dondo the Supamida. By whatever name, it's hard to talk about Na'Vi, or in fact about Dota 2 players in general without mentioning Dendi. He is perhaps the most popular and widely known Dota 2 player in history. He was featured in Valve's documentary Free to Play, which mentioned he had more Twitter followers than the Ukranian national soccer team. With now over 283,000 followers, he also has a larger following than various American football teams (Sorry Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Dendi's professional career began back with Dota 1, and although he is now well known for his solo mid skills, he is infamous for signature hero, Pudge. His first major appearance with the hero was the ESWC Grand Finals in 2011, where he demolished EHOME with multiple blind hooks, ending with a 20/1/8 KDA. Years later, he's proven how devastating Pudge can be, whether through smoke ganks or fountain hooks, often causing other teams to respect-ban the hero against Na'Vi. Take a look at highlights from the game that started it all:
Beyond his skills in the game, Dendi is also loved by the community for his fun and often goofy mannerisms, as well as his devotion to his fans. Who can forget DendiFace during interviews, or Dendi Style dancing across the stage? He may troll for the media, but he's always there for fans, signing hundreds of autographs and answering countless questions on AMAs. According to a reddit post, after last year's International, Dendi (along with IceIceIce) stayed long after the venue had closed in order to sign autographs, and many redditors chimed in with similar stories from other events.
Our team wouldn't be who they are without the support of our devoted fans. Who's your favorite Na'Vi player and why? Let us know in the comments!