TI11 players are shaving their heads to gain the “Yatoro buff” cover image

TI11 players are shaving their heads to gain the “Yatoro buff”

Will more players hop on the bald train for a chance at winning TI11?

Things happen at The International but we are certainly not ready for a bald trend. The Playoffs for TI11 are set to happen tomorrow (October 20th) and teams are sharpening their swords - or their electric razors - for the biggest battle of the year.

There are many ways to prep yourself before an elimination game, but some players went down the unconventional path. BOOM Esports' CEO and Rolen "skem" Ong decided to follow the steps of the previous champion, Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk, and shave their heads bald. Jose "Pandaboo" Hernandez of Thunder Awaken also jumped on the bald train today.

UPDATE: Both Thunder Awaken and BOOM Esports delivered a massive upset today, advancing further into TI11. Does this mean the 'Yatoro buff' actually works? Players are starting to believe and Arteezy is the latest player to cave in.

BOOM Esports members and Pandaboo shave heads before Playoffs

Indonesian org, BOOM Esports had a field day at TI11 after escaping a near-elimination experience during the Group Stage. Players and fans were already mourning for BOOM until they pulled off the biggest comeback - from a 1% chance to survive the Group Stage to winning a 3-way tiebreaker and keeping their TI11 run alive.

BOOM Esports.skem's tweets after making it through tiebreakers.
BOOM Esports.skem's tweets after making it through tiebreakers.

Now the Playoffs are set and BOOM has to make it out of a BO1 elimination series against none other than the defending champions, Team Spirit. To prepare for the series and the rest of TI, BOOM Esports' CEO, Gary Ongko Putera and team captain, skem decided to shave their heads to gain the "Yatoro buff".

"Yatoro shaved his head to win TI. We double shaved coz we need to beat him and TI," said the CEO.

Today (October 20) Thunder Awaken's position 5, Pandaboo also walked down the same path. He shaved his head bald and tweeted: "Anything for the Aegis sh*t." (translated by Google Translate)

What is the 'Yatoro Buff'?

At TI10 last year, Team Spirit delivered one of the wildest underdog storylines - winning the championship from the Lower Bracket and knocking down the world's strongest, PSG.LGD. In the midst of the Playoffs, Spirit's carry player, Yatoro, shaved his bright pink hair and rocked a bald head instead.

Since then, memes appeared stating that Yatoro sacrificed his hair for a TI win. And now some players at TI11 want to earn that same buff by shaving their heads. Will the Yatoro buff work this time around or will these players need a new lucky charm?

Keep up with how the 'Yatoro buff' affect both BOOM Esports and Thunder Awaken at TI11 on Esports.gg.