Why are PSG.LGD players rubbing XinQ’s belly before pro games?

By Kenneth Williams


Jul 27, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Rubbing the belly of your teammate sounds like a strange pre-match ritual, but for PSG.LGD’s Dota 2 team, it’s becoming a longstanding tradition.

One of the strangest phenomena in Dota 2 esports is watching PSG.LGD walk up to the squad’s support player Zhao “XinQ” Zixing and begin to rub his belly. Team captain Zhang “y`” Yiping is the most common masseuse, but offlaner Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida has also been seen subtly smacking his support’s stomach. What’s up with this strange warm-up, and what could it possibly mean?

The most recent example of PSG.LGD rubbing ZingQ’s belly was at Riyadh Masters, a $4 million tournament held in Saudi Arabia. At some point during the event, Faith_bian walked over to his laning partner and began patting him on the stomach. This is far from the first time this has happened, with another notable instance occurring at The International 10.


The strange ritual has attracted Dota 2 fans’ attention for years, but what is the real meaning behind it? The answer might surprise you.

PSG.LGD could rub XinQ’s belly as part of Buddhist custom

PSG.LGD players rubbing XinQ’s belly may be a reference to a Buddhist religious custom.

In parts of China, it is theorized that rubbing the statue of historical figures can bring good fortune. Budai, also known as the Laughing Buddha, is a heavyset historical figure known for having a large stomach. Rubbing Budai statues on the belly is said to bring good luck and fortune, which are both useful to have in pro Dota 2. XinQ is the biggest player on the team, so he most naturally fits the role. 

Blog post image
Haedong Yonggungsa Budai, South Korea

The superstitious act of rubbing statues is not just a phenomenon in China. In the United States, it’s common to see statues with worn sections at universities. Many public European works also sport wear from contact. In the case of Budai, his large stomach makes it the natural place to rub. Budai is a popular subject for sculptors in other Asian countries like Korea and Japan too.

When PSG.LGD players rub ZinQ’s belly, it may be a reference to this social phenomenon. Good luck is a useful thing to have at the highest level of Dota 2 esports, and PSG.LGD is the longest-standing roster still at the top. The squad’s recent $1.5 million championship at Riyadh Masters 2022 may be proof that rubbing XinQ’s belly brings good luck.


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