Rise of Esports

Adam Molson

Asparagus Editor

With the rise of the video game culture came competition, and even at the start, video games were but competition. Pong for example, heralded as the true start of gaming, was a table tennis based competition with friends on simple early-gen graphics. Since then, gaming has evolved. With the rise of games such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Starcraft II and many others, the title of “professional gamer” has lost its sarcastic wit in favor of a legitimate job.

Among those who have earned the title of “professional gamer” is Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, a member of the DotA team Na’Vi, where he and his team managed to become the first to win The Internationals, a tournament of 16 teams competing for $1.6 million. For a time, Dendi was one of the most famous gamers in the Dota 2 world.

“As a matter of fact I got a computer while still being a kid. I was carefully watching my brother play PC games [and] from time to time I played myself,” Dendi said in an interview with Steel Gaming, shortly after The Internationals. “I played every single game I could install on my computer… and that’s quite a lot.”