Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva is the red-haired Dota 2 queen from the CIS

Alisa Barladyan
08 Jun 2022
17:22

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva is one of the first female CIS player who first played WarCraft 3, then Dota AllStars, and later Dota 2. The girl played in several teams and managed to build a successful career in Virtus.pro. She built the team herself and led it to success. One of Olga's main wishes was for women's Dota 2 to grow and develop, but it didn't happen. Then KozaDereza finished her player career and took a job at ESForce Holding. After almost 10 years of work there, Olga became an adviser to the director-general. She can be safely called one of those girls at the origin of eSports. However, she doesn't often appear in the media, so there isn't much information about her on the Internet. You can find out who Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva is in our article.

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Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva
Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

Olga had been playing various games for quite a long time, but she liked WarCraft 3, where she spent about two years. Then KozaDereza moved on to classic Dota AllStars, and that's where she gained considerable fame. She was regarded as one of the first professional female cyber athletes in the CIS, who played at a fairly high level.

I was playing WarCraft 3 for two years and World of Warcraft for three years (though with long breaks). I've already written many posts about being in love with the WarCraft universe, which is why it was extremely hard for me to switch from DotA 1 to Dota 2. Regarding other games, I occasionally play different RPGs. Some of my favorites are Gothic, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Risen.

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

For a while, KozaDereza was playing just for fun, but later she thought about a professional career in cybersports. Then she joined the ieS.Ladies' team, but she did not spend much time there. The team never played any serious tournaments together and moved under the auspices of another organization - RoX.KiS. According to the girls, this decision was related to the "absence of any prospects and the general indifference of the ieS management to the women's team.

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Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

For some time KozaDereza played in RoX.KiS and during this time she managed to achieve some success. At the same time, the organization didn't invest money in the women's squad. The girls had no salary or bootcamp. They weren't even given money for traveling to tournaments. It was on this ground that the RoX.KiS team fell apart.

There was a separate women's tournament on WDC in China at that time. The first tournament is for girls only. We knew about it beforehand and dreamt about going there. We even received an invitation from the organizers, but unfortunately, at that time, we couldn't find an organization that would support us financially. After that, I gave up, and I no longer saw the point in continuing to play with girls.

KozaDereza

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

For a long time after leaving RoX.KiS, KozaDereza just played pubs and made the transition from DotA to Dota 2. After about six months of continuous matchmaking, she realized that she missed team play and decided to revive her cybersports career. This time she personally assembled a new squad, inviting each participant individually. As a result, Olga managed to put together a strong team of five. The team included the following players:

  • Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva;
  • Yana b2ru Khymchenko;
  • Dasha Jea1ousy Zhiltsova;
  • Veronica Vendetta Albasheeva;
  • Mila Mila Alieva.
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Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

Almost immediately after gathering this roster, the girls were invited to join another eSports organization - Virtus.pro. And they happily agreed. This happened in September 2012.

Women's Dota 2 at the moment is not as prominent as the men's. There are very few teams consisting of girls only, especially in the CIS. Virtus.pro organization decided to begin improving this situation by taking under its aegis the five talented girls who set the most ambitious goals.

Virtus.pro

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

We are excited to be a part of such a big and serious community like Virtus.pro, and we will try not to betray the expectations of the organization and its fans. I also hope it will have a positive impact on our team and the ladies' Dota 2 scene in general, which is still in its early stages of development. Maybe other organizations and championship organizers will pay attention to the women's teams, as their number is growing every day!

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

Virtus.pro treated the girls with a more serious attitude. They didn't get paid a salary, but at least they paid for trips to LAN tournaments. And if they really needed it, they were given some money. Yana b2ru Khymchenko used this money to buy herself a new computer. Thanks to that the girls felt some ground beneath their feet and could devote themselves to playing Dota 2.

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Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

In VP Olga took on two important responsibilities. She was both a midlaner and a captain, so she had a lot of responsibility to shoulder, but she handled it pretty well. At that time the whole team started playing much better. The girls practiced a lot and progressed every day. As a result they were very successful at a wide variety of tournaments, both for men and women. Virtus.pro sometimes traveled to other cities and participated in local LAN tournaments, occasionally winning high places there. In other words, the VP girls were doing great. They could continue to play and develop professionally.

They achieved all this thanks to their captain - KozaDereza. She was the most strict, responsible and at the same time the most skilful player in VP. Olga was always listened to, because she had pronounced leadership qualities. Someone even nicknamed her the red-haired queen of eSports. At that time such a title was very well deserved. However, KozaDereza did not want to stop there. She wanted to develop not only herself and her team, but the entire women's eSports arena.

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

Our goal is to bring more attention to the women's game. So that the girls who are now playing individually will form teams, train and get better. I don't know whether it's because of their emotions, physiology, or whatever, but on average girls play worse than guys. However, we've all seen that female Counter-Strike was quite popular back in the day. I wish that women's Dota 2 finally takes some form and gradually becomes an integral part of cybersports.

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

KozaDereza even tried to organize tournaments for girls with the support of Virtus.pro, but this initiative didn't turn into a regular practice. Over time, the number of women's Dota 2 tournaments only decreased. The number of girls participating in the men's tournaments also dwindled. There are way fewer female cyberplayers now too. The women's team of Virtus.pro played less and less, and after a while, KozaDereza finished her cybersports career.

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Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

After her career as a professional player ended, Olga was offered to stay at ESForce Holding (this holding company owns Virtus.pro), and she agreed. Her managerial and leadership skills helped her get a job as a content director of the Virtus.pro team. Later on, she will build a successful career in ESForce Holding and rise to the top.

The work is very diverse, it's hard to describe it in a nutshell. The main thing is to cooperate and work with sponsors and partners. The main goal is the popularization of the organization. When Anton Sneg1 Cherepennikov offered me this job, I had no idea what I would have to do. I learned everything by trial and error, luckily our bosses are very patient.

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva
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After that Olga was responsible for organizing Dota2 and CS:GO tournaments in Moscow, she also arranged fan meetings with the players. She also helped open a store with Virtus.pro uniforms and merchandise. At the same time, Olga was engaged in the club's informational promotion. All in all, there were a lot of things to do and projects to be done. And Olga was always at the forefront.

Olga has been working for ESForce Holding for almost 10 years and during that time she rose through the ranks to become an advisor to Esforce Holding's director-general. It is safe to say that Olga Dunaeva was at the origins of Russian eSports: first as a player and then as an organizer.

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

When KozaDereza was playing Warcraft 3, she met another famous cyber sportsman - Yaroslav NS Kuznetsov. After that they represented Virtus.pro together, even though they played on different teams. At some point Olga and Yaroslav started dating, and formed one of the strongest relationships in Russian eSports.

Olga KozaDereza Dunaeva

In 2014 Olga and Yaroslav got married. The event turned out to be quite unique because it took place right on the seashore. Since then, the newlyweds have always been together, even though they already worked in different places. Last year it became known that Olga and Yaroslav were having a child. A daughter was born at the end of September 2021, and she’s been Olga's primary care ever since.

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