Dota2 expert Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen takes a look at the newest Dota2 record in terms of most games played by one player for a single organisation. Up until this week it was "Dendi" who claimed this title but "Puppey" surpassed that. "Noxville" takes a closer look at this impressive record.
Legendary players in Dota 2
One of the most iconic and recognisable esports stars is Danil "Dendi" Ishutin. Winning the inaugural iteration of The International and appearing in the finals of the next two unsurprisingly have that impact on a player’s fame.
His name is synonymous with Natus Vincere, joining the team in late 2010 and remaining with them for ages – through the big post-TI4 rebuild during which Clement ”Puppey” Ivanov and Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi departed, and then the many more rebuilds that followed.
Who are the Dota 2 Legacies?
I recall a discussion at a Dota event in early 2018 between a group of commentators and analysts about traditional sports legacies. It began with talk about Kobe Bryant and his 20 seasons for the Lakers and then moved on to other American sporting examples which I’d never heard of. Then suddenly the conversation segued into a Dota equivalent.
Loads of suggestions came in: Jonathan "Loda" Berg and Joakim "Akke" Akterhall’s time with Alliance; Yao "Yao" Zhengzheng’s history with LGD Gaming; Clinton "Fear" Loomis and Saahil "Universe" Arora’s time with Evil Geniuses; and there was even some support for Luo "Ferrari_430" Feichi’s time with Invictus Gaming.
Then someone mentioned “Dendi” and the conversation went quiet - a trump card had been played and the silence indicated unanimity as everyone knew their prior proposals were probably incorrect.
Later that year, possible challengers for “Dendi” started dropping off: “Fear” left EG in May 2018 and “Loda” retired in mid-2018. Over those few months, his pro game tally had only grown by a small amount, but it was like adding a few metres on top of an already perilously high mountain.
However, his performance level dropped and failing to qualify via the Open Qualifiers for the TI8 regionals was the final nail in the coffin: “Dendi” went inactive on the NAVI roster. His future with the team was uncertain but despite the circumstances, it was almost unthinkable that there would be a day he wouldn’t be in a yellow NAVI hoodie. However, after a few loan periods, he finally left the organisation – his record standing at 1523 games played for a single team.
A new record holder
It’s taken three years, but finally, someone else has reached the summit and is about to break his record – and, of course, it’s former teammate “Puppey” (representing Team Secret) who is going to do it.
In the upcoming DPC Tour 3 tiebreaker match against Entity, “Puppey” will match the record in game one, and then take it outright in the second. As it stands before the match, “Puppey” is up to 1522 games played for Team Secret, with a 1024-498 record (67.28%). He also recently became the first player with 1000 wins for a single org.
Of the 82 players with 500+ games for a single org, “Puppey” (for his time with Team Secret) has the second-highest win rate, only behind Ludwig "zai" Wahlberg whose win rate with Evil Geniuses stands at 66.7%.
Incidentally, for the time “Puppey” spent with NAVI, he is ranked 26th with a win rate of 63.7%. It’s also worth mentioning that Team Secret has a history of great players. Of the nine most experienced players in Dota 2 history, just two have not yet represented them: Xu "fy" Linsen and Hu "kaka" Liangzhi (third and eighth most experienced respectively).
Under his leadership, Team Secret’s Dota 2 team have won prize money worth approximately $15.3M (per esportsearnings.com), the fifth-highest amount a single organisation has made in a single title. Ahead of them are four of the recent winners of The International – something that they’ve come close to achieving in the past few years, but ultimately fallen short on.
Team Secret have an unfortunate history of peaking in performance a few months before The International – they hold the records for the best results over each of 50-, 75-, 100-, and 150-game stretches, and have the highest recorded Elo and Glicko ratings any team has ever had in Dota 2. Perhaps this year might be different; however, if they make it to The International it will be via a very difficult route, and with a very untested and modified team.
The only scary thing for “Puppey” is now that he’s set this record he’ll have to fend off the younger whippersnappers who are nipping at his heels: Artour "Arteezy" Babaev’s various stints for Evil Geniuses add up to 1460 games and Djardel Jicko B. "DJ" Mampusti is at 1234 games for Fnatic.