The article deals with a conceptually new sphere of the existence of nicknames - videogames (the case of Dota 2). The paper starts by reviewing the main onomastic issues referring to nicknames: correlation with similar and synonymous terms, questions of belonging to the centre or the periphery of anthroponyms, approaches to classifying, including the functional typology. The study is aimed at describing the pragmatic context of the situation of nomination and characterising the functioning and varying of nicknames in view of these factors. The game is known to be popular with a large community and combine an amateur and a professional cluster that do not have strict borders. In order to study the variety of nicknames belonging to one user the article analyses the nicknames of professional Russian-speaking players. Their variety can be represented with the help of a field structure, with the centre corresponding to the main, recognisable version of the nickname and the periphery occupied by modifications at different levels. The online survey of amateur players revealed the strategies of self-nomination that reflect different degrees of awareness at the monet of creating a nickname. It is inferred that understanding the functions of a nick and assigning them to the nickname corresponds to the most intentional and well-thought nomination. The specific features of varying and the strategies of nomination as well as other conditions of the pragmatic context do not give a definite answer to the question of nicknames belonging to natural and artificial nomination. However, they attest to the importance of addressing this as a problem question in further studies.