Virtus Pro is one of the top Dota 2 teams in the world and will be a favorite to win it all at The International 2019, and they are also the first team to show off their custom jerseys for the event.
Every year, there are a handful of teams that release custom jerseys that are either themed around or specially made for The International. This year, Virtus has done both by replacing their signature polar bear with a giant panda.
Because the event is taking place in Shanghai, China, this change is also accompanied by the inclusion of the nickname Chinese fans of the team have given their roster, ‘powerful fight.’
“Our fanbase in Asia has been steadily growing over the last couple of years,” a team statement reads. “With the first TI in China on its way we want to take another step to get closer to local fans. Chinese fans have a special nickname for our team that can be translated as “powerful fight.” We have combined these words with our logo.”
The design also features a change from the typical orange of the jerseys to a dark red, which is symbolic of the country they are visiting to compete in. Otherwise shown are various Chinese characters, ornaments, and the aforementioned panda.
Virtus also launched a Weibo account that features the new logo and designs in an attempt to make connections with their Chinese fans by using that form of social media and honoring the local traditions. This is a big opportunity for the team to make a statement in a region that loves Dota 2.
The team also released a short teaser that displayed each of their player’s names with varying Chinese characters behind the English word. Each of these characters shows a nickname that a player has been dubbed by the Chinese fans.
From translations posted in the comments on Twitter, it appears the two most people agree on are Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev being called “spider” and Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko being dubbed something along the lines of “little fat man.” The actual translations will likely be released when all of the players are shown in their jerseys.
Fans can pre-order the jersey on Fragstore or purchase them at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai during playoffs. The International 2019 begins on Aug. 15.