Gamer Focus: Who Is Puppey?

There are a lot of pro-gamers in this world. Some make their fortunes from posting clips of themselves “not sucking” on YouTube. Others go out and win things. Puppey definitely comes into the latter category. He is a veteran of the eSports scene. Let’s find out more.

Who is Puppey?

Puppey may have a cute sounding name, but the Estonian, real name Clement Ivanov, is a player to be feared on the DOTA scene. Of course, he wasn’t born with a controller in his hand. He was born in 1990 and as a child had a keen interest in music, he can play the clarinet, violin, saxophone and guitar. He also sang in a choir for more than a decade. It’s safe to say that music is one of his passions.


He may be a music man but he is also a world-class gamer. Puppey cut his teeth, as do most gamers in public games where he was naturally gifted. He didn’t start to make waves as a professional until 2007 when he joined the team Xero Skill (XsK). The team was a bunch of unknown players but they were skilful. Despite this, their first foray into a competition ended in disappointment as they were unable to make it past the group phase. However, it wouldn’t be too long before the group started to build momentum and finished an impressive third place in the ESL major series before eventually parting.

A fresh start for Puppey

Puppey spent a period of time without a team before being named as a replacement for Mouz at the DreamHack tournament in 2009. It was a surreal period for the gamer as his team changed leadership, lost players, gained players, faired pretty well at tournaments but seemed to take one step back before taking two forwards. There was also a merger between two teams. Despite all the upheaval the team was starting to put together some good results.

Break up of a bromance

Puppey became disillusioned at the tail of 2009. Lots of players had left his current team,, including one of his best buds, KuroKy. In response, him and a few skilled players formed a new team to try and show the world what they could do. They called themselves Bens Friendly Buddies. This team picked up a decent sponsorship deal and soon changed their moniker to Nirvana. They were not without their issues. The team was hampered by being split over continents. So it formed a sister team to incorporate its US contingent. This was especially pertinent as Puppey was unable to claim a US visa.

Finding a home

He took his first steps into becoming a DOTA pro when he helped form Natus Vincere in 2011. The team were a massive hit and he was able to accomplish a great deal with his new teammates. They went on to take the first prize at the International, arguably one of the biggest tournaments in eSports. Puppey then went on a fine run of form. He finished on the podium in almost every tournament for the next year. After a strong showing in the 2012 International things started to turn sour and Puppey left after four solid years with the team.

Team Secret

Puppey was reunited with his old “running mate” KuroKy as they formed team secret. It is the team he is part of to this day. The team has been a huge success and is one of the most renowned in gaming.


Although arguably Puppey is at his best as a support player in DOTA he is versatile and experimental and can fulfil many roles. It’s perhaps because of this that he has had the successes he has had.

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