Indian Dota 2 fans crowdfund a K-pop-style banner for Team Spirit

By Kenneth Williams


Oct 21, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Indian Dota 2 fans congratulated one of The International 2021’s champions in a cool way.

According to social media users, a group of Indian Dota 2 fans has crowdfunded a massive billboard in a city center to congratulate TI10 champion Team Spirit. The banner specifically focuses on midlaner Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek.

They were inspired by local K-pop fans who crowdfund similar banners for their favorite stars. While there aren’t many professional Dota 2 players from India, the MOBA is still fairly popular in the country.

The banner is reportedly in a shopping mall located in Mizoram, India. A group of Mizo Dota 2 players raised the idea as a joke, but eventually decided to crowdfund the venture. They banded together to turn their meme into reality. Now there’s a 50-foot banner of Team Spirit hanging from a building next to an advertisement for a boxing match.

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According to the original poster, the idea came from local K-pop fans who crowdfund similar banners to celebrate their favorite stars’ birthdays. The crowdfunders chose TORONTOTOKYO because they believe he looks similar to Kim “RM” Nam-joon, a rapper in BTS.

Nobody from Team Spirit has commented on the congratulations, but they would probably appreciate it. The midlaner himself might find it strange, if not a little funny.

Team Spirit’s Dota 2 players are now among the highest-earning esports players in history after winning $18,208,300 at TI10. The eastern European teams earned a spot at TI10 through the regional qualifiers. The squad’s miracle run included wins over Team Secret, Invictus Gaming, and a narrow 3-2 grand final win over PSG.LGD. Now the team has received high praise from both the Russian president and the Indian community.

Dota 2 is a fairly popular game in India, but other titles are quickly beginning to overtake it. Still, there are a handful of esports circuits in the country. The massive Team Spirit banner hanging in a Mizo mall is proof that the community is very dedicated to their favorite games.

Video games as a whole are extremely popular in India. India is the second-most populous country in the world with almost 1.4 billion citizens. Indians don’t have the same access to powerful game consoles, but PC and mobile gaming are extremely popular.

Mobile esports, especially battle royales such as PUBG Mobile, are arguably the most popular competitive titles in India. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is also very popular, and some Indian players have found success in international competitions.