Dendi, Fear and hyhy are the three protagonists of the Free To Play Documentary that got an official Netflix release on April 19, 2021. Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, Clinton "Fear" Loomis and Benedict "hyhy" Lim all hail from different regions of the world and their respective chronicles of competing at The International 1 (TI1), 2011, also intrigue any esports fan in an equally unique way. The three Dota 2 professionals have come a long way in their 10-year-long Dota 2 journeys. While Dendi and Fear continue to play the game professionally, hyhy has seemingly been out of action since 2017. Here is a look at the journey of these three veterans and what they are up to at the moment.
Dendi, Fear and hyhy’s Dota 2 journey over the years
The Free To Play documentary takes us through Dendi’s journey of lifting the Aegis of the Champions with his squad, Natus Vincere, at TI1. Since then, though he has not constantly enjoyed prosperity like old-school peers, Puppey or KuroKy, Dendi continues to be one of the most beloved Dota 2 personalities. His jolly nature and skill at the highest level have attracted a ton of fans over the years.
Being a pillar of the Dota 2 competitive scene, the Ukrainian midlaner continues to actively compete in Dota 2 tournaments. He had spent nearly nine years with the Natus Vincere organization before formally parting ways with them in 2019. During this period, Dendi had one championship run and two runner-up finishes at TIs. He then had short stints with Tigers and The Pango before deciding to open his own organization, B8 Esports in January 2020. Since then, the TI1 champion has been a staple part of its Dota 2 team though the squad has witnessed several roster shuffles. After years of success and fame, Dendi had quite a rough time in 2020 when B8 had registered the most consecutive losses in Dota 2 history.
Currently competing in the CIS 2021 DPC Season 2: Lower Division with a bunch of young players, Dendi, who is now 31-years-old continues to do what he likes the most - play Dota 2, despite being years away from his prime and months away from any considerable success.
Old-man Fear, as his fans fondly call him, had his own struggle story in the Free To Play Documentary as he sought to win the first Dota 2 International. At TI1, he had competed with OK.Nirvana.Int - a joint initiative of Online Kingdom and Nirvana, managing to secure a 7th-8th place with $25,000 USD in prize money.
Fear then joined Evil Geniuses in late 2011 and became a pivotal part of the team till 2018, switching between the player and captain role at certain points in this seven-year period. His biggest accomplishment in his career came during his time with Evil Geniuses, winning TI5.
Fear has since played for various teams including J.Storm in 2018-2020 and then a brief playing period with business associates. Currently, the 33-year-old renowned Dota 2 player, who has shown his skill and potency in every role in the game, plays for the North American stack of PentAce.
Despite no recent success or major tournament wins, Fear remains one of the most storied Dota 2 figures in the North American competitive scene.
Hyhy’s account in the Free To Play documentary is a classic representation of the trade-off between studies and esports. The Singaporean player aimed to make a name for himself by choosing Dota 2 and delivering solid performance at TI1. He competed with fellow Singaporeans under Scythe Gaming, even managing to secure a 3rd place finish securing $150,000 USD in prize money.
Though hyhy’s Dota 2 career did kickstart at TI1, he was unable to continue it for long. He participated at TI2 where he ended in 5 - 6th place but has since had a rough period in Dota 2 following this tournament. Hyhy was forced to take a break from pro-Dota 2 after the conclusion of TI 2 since he had to take part in Singapore's mandatory military service program for about two years. Following this, he had a short stretch with White Fries Gaming in 2016-17 but that didn't really take off.
In November 2020, the 31-year-old had announced his comeback to the professional scene by becoming a client of the Singapore-based esports talent management agency, EMERGE Esports. However, hyhy, has not been seen playing competitive Dota 2 ever since.
Dendi, Fear and hyhy stand at various positions in life 10 years after their first Dota 2 World Championship in 2011, TI1. It will be intriguing to see how long Dendi and Fear keep playing the game.