Dendi and B8 stumble in LA Major qualifiers, but future still bright

Neslyn A. February 11, 2020

Fans were hyped up when Dota 2 legend Danil “Dendi” Ishutin announced the birth of his new esports organization, B8. 

The announcement was made in memorable fashion with a short video imagining a elderly Dendi recounting his Dota 2 career to his grandson. Unfortunately, that announcement trailer was more memorable than the actual debut for the B8 organization as the team came up short in the CIS open qualifiers for the ESL One Los Angeles Major.

The inaugural B8 roster is comprised of these players:

  1. Alexandr "pio65" Zalivako
  2. Danil "Dendi" Ishutin
  3. Andrey "Ghostik" Kadyk
  4. Rinat "KingR" Abdullin
  5. Nikola "LeBronDota" Popović

Despite Dendi’s popularity and the proven skills of most of his new teammates, Dota Pro Circuit rules tasked B8 with making its debut in the CIS open qualifiers. While the competition wasn’t incredibly fierce, there were still several challenges including academy teams like Team Empire Hope and teams like KBU, headed by Dendi’s former teammate Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich.

B8 made it deep into the qualifiers, reaching the round of eight. Alas, the team’s run ended with a lopsided defeat at the hands of eventual open qualifier winner Modus Unity. That keeps Dendi out of the running for a spot in the major, but the team did look the part of a potential contender.

B8 and Dendi still have potential for success after ESL One LA Major

During his glory days with Natus Vincere, Dendi was regarded as possibly the best mid laner in the world and was idolized for his eccentricity both in and out of the game. His departure from Natus Vincere’s roster in 2018 wasn’t surprising, but was still jarring for Dota 2 fans given how synonymous Dendi was with Na’Vi’s brand.

From there, Dendi served as a substitute on a variety of different teams, and moved to Southeast Asia to play for Tigers. The team struggled to qualify in major and minor tournaments. This led to a return to the CIS region that saw him briefly play for The Pango.

Following The International 2019, Dendi detailed plans to start his own organization in hopes of returning to the top of the pro scene. 

Despite the team falling short in the open qualifiers, B8 might serve as Dendi’s ticket for a trip back to the upper echelons of Dota 2. Players like LeBron and KingR are proven commodities and the team looked solid despite suffering from a roster departure shortly ahead of the qualifiers starting.

There is still a lot of room for improvement for B8, but it’s not inconceivable that Dendi could be back at large tournaments before long.

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