Now Dmitry aka Finargot covers the largest Dota 2 competitions in Russia and abroad, continues to work on his YouTube channel, and streams games on Twitch.

How did your career in blogging start?

When my friends and I were still school students, we played video games all the time, and even then I needed money. So, I tried to make money on online games, in particular, I traded different items. I also had a passion for voice acting. Right around the time I entered ITMO University, Lost tv-series was on air and I’d been doing a fan translation for it. I used to get up early and work on it just before my classes.

In 2011, Dota 2 was released. Even though it had been in beta testing (for the next two years), it quickly became a huge success. But the problem was, there was no official Russian voice-over at that time and for many players it was a big deal. That’s why in 2012 we decided to make our own fan voice-over. We started a channel and uploaded videos of the main characters and their lines – many people were into it.

Dota2VO. Credit:
Dota2VO. Credit:

Then, we founded the Dota2VO community: we had a Youtube channel, our own website, and a VK community. We shared up-to-date information and arranged giveaways of keys to access the game while it was still at early stages of beta testing. We organized several events in St. Petersburg. For example, in 2013-2018, we hosted the largest broadcasts of the Dota 2 World Championships at the time. These were three-day events with not only broadcasts but also giveaways, tournaments, and separate recreational and gaming zones. We also had a separate stand for Dota tournaments at the first two VKfests.

Later on, my colleagues and I went different ways, and I had been doing everything on my own for a while. But now the website is gone and I am engaged in other activities.

How did you become an esport reviewer?

In 2015, after I completed my Master’s studies, I attended the Dota 2 championship in Germany for the first time. I negotiated my accreditation and visits to the restricted zones with the organizers and went there as a reporter. I had the chance to meet lots of people from this field and started to attend all important events after this: I went to Moscow, Minsk, and last year I visited Disneyland in Paris.

The Dota 2 Championship in Moscow. Credit:
The Dota 2 Championship in Moscow. Credit:

Did you do this for your Youtube channel or on commission?

Basically, I worked on the content for my channel, and then I just found sponsors that funded my trips and equipment. I did comic features at the tournaments and they also sponsored my videos.

But there were also other ways of interaction. In 2016 I took part in competitions in Lithuania for the Game show studio (now it is called E TV). From time to time, at some events like Igromir you can see sponsor stands. In a way, I interact with partners and sponsors all the time. I hosted the Fortnite Championship studio at the latest VKfest.

So did your channel immediately start to bring you money?

For one and a half to two years, we made no money. It was our hobby, we did not see it as a way to earn money at all. Only later we started to get some offers from various companies that wanted to be promoted by us. They offered quite a lot of money.

Dmitry 'finargot' Plyusnin at DreamHack Moscow 2015. Credit:
Dmitry 'finargot' Plyusnin at DreamHack Moscow 2015. Credit:

What do you think was the secret of your success?

At first, the previously not-existing Russian voice-over attracted the attention. Although we were newbies, we took it very seriously: we chose people with voices similar to the original actors and translated the text thoroughly.

Then we started making animations on Source Filmmaker from Valve. Each Dota 2 World Championship holds a separate contest for such videos – we participated several times and got into the shortlist but did not win. In a sense, they were unique, because in the CIS countries they were mainly making guides on the game. These animated videos also caught the eye of most of our audience.

This year, I plan to finish the animated series that we started doing six years ago. I think many will be happy when it is ready. In general, we always tried to come up with something new and unusual and not to imitate others.

Today, I am more into streaming. With the pandemic going on, nothing huge happened in Dota and all international competitions were canceled. I make videos for my channel as usual and besides that, I also started streaming on Twitch.

Do you play Dota on Twitch, too?

Over the past few years, I got a little tired of it and now I have another kind of content. For example, I introduced Bunker, a role-playing game, to Twitch – it was made by a girl from Siberia. A video about this game has become one of the most viewed. And now I am playing the popular Among us. It's like Mafia but a video game and it's set in space.

There is another board game that I sometimes stream called Settlers of Catan. I am quite serious about it: last year, my friend and I won the Russian championship and went to the world championship in German.

Settlers of Catan. Credit:
Settlers of Catan. Credit:

Don't you get tired of so many games in your life?

Of course I do. It might seem that there are no reasons to get tired: you just sit at home and barely do any physical activity. But I had a lot on my plate and it exhausted me most. I had a YouTube channel, a website, a VK community, and so on. Some of the tasks I delegated but I could not fully trust people I met online, so I had to do a lot by myself. Sometimes I felt like my brain was about to explode because it was too difficult to keep track of all the things I needed to do. Now I try to have more breaks and do a detox from social media and games so as not to burn out. But of course, if you enjoy what you do and other people are into it, too – it’s a double win.

Aren't you tired of going to events?

Going to events is a whole other story because Dota championships are one step above all other esports events in the world – they have the largest prize pools and everything there is organized at the highest level. As strange as it may seem, the best one I attended was in Moscow.

Now I go to the championship in Moscow every year. I know the organizers and the RuHub team that is engaged in commenting and analysis of games very well. I also have sponsors who are interested in filming some content there. There are lots of videos that cover the event and I set myself the task of filming something unusual and interesting. For example, for the last event, I created my interpretation of the game Alias for Dota and invited players, commentators, and analysts to play it. Now the RuHub team picked up this format.

Dmitry 'finargot' Plyusnin. Credit: social media
Dmitry 'finargot' Plyusnin. Credit: social media

Have you ever worked as a programmer?

I only had some side hustles. By the time I graduated, I already made good money on my channel.

What do you think about your education? Did it somehow help you or not?

My education helped me a lot and not only in programming. I still do some programming from time to time, for example, when I need to make my own website. My best friend from the university – and he is, unlike me, a full-time programmer – and I do some joint projects. Now we are developing a modification for Dota, making a sort of Among us analog. Also, towards the end of my studies, we had a variety of subjects that taught us how to properly do business with clients or customers.

Why did you decide to study computer technologies and control? How did you choose the faculty?

Actually, I chose my major in the 10th grade. My mother insisted on either ITMO University or St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television because I was fond of cinema back then. I did not like what was happening with the cinema in Russia, so I decided to follow my heart.

ITMO University
ITMO University

I finished a physics and mathematics lyceum where they taught computer science at a very high level. That’s how I learned to program. Initially, the Faculty of Secure Information Technologies was my main option, and therefore I applied for ITMO’s math contest. But I lacked one point to get the first-degree diploma and the second degree was not good enough. So I enrolled in the Computer Technologies and Control program.

Do you regret it?

Not even slightly. After learning more about both faculties, I decided that  I had made the right choice. I only had problems with one subject – Basic Electronic Computers. In terms of programming, everything was fine – I even helped my friend create laboratory software for C#. I enjoyed all four years of my studies here. It's just that then I sort of lost interest.

Why did you then decide to do a Master's?

I thought that if in the future I’ll still want to work in my field of studies, it will be easier for me to do it with a completed Master's degree. By then I already had a channel but I was not sure that I would be still doing this in the next five years. I said to myself: you never know what may happen, what if it does not work out?

Report by Dmitry 'finargot' Plyusnin at SLTV StarSeries XI. Credit:
Report by Dmitry 'finargot' Plyusnin at SLTV StarSeries XI. Credit:

Do you think so now?

Sometimes, I think about it. For example, on YouTube, everything is not as good as it was before but I have Twitch now – however, it is obvious that this also won’t last forever.

So I am making up my mind about what I could do in the future. But I'm not sure about programming anymore. Rather, it will be related to my current field. I have both contacts and job offers. Once I was even invited to be the head of the Dota2 commenting studio – so, there are doors open for me.

I see myself as someone who will generate ideas, assign tasks, and come up with new projects. Perhaps, it will be some kind of a startup. For example, my friend and I sometimes try to create some projects that could potentially take off.