Desta against Achrian: two comedians in a competitive table tennis match ever in Indonesia and more about the sport's real-life "comedic" state.


Celebrities and entertainers often found themselves limited in managing their own media, let alone advertising themselves.

Many had tried with self-acclaimed creative ways of presenting themselves to the public, from TikTok to starting their own podcasts, pranks, the old collaboration with fellow like-minded individuals and many more. One wrong move, however, and they might find themselves on the wrong side of history.

This seems unlikely for Indonesia's famous presenter comedian Deddy Mahendra Desta and comedian Abdel Achrian. They have a creative way of presenting themselves to the public.

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The table tennis match
Who would have thought a friendly table tennis match between the two–and keep in mind only the two are the competitors, would end up garnering support, attracting views, and more exposure than what they can imagine. 

The match was watched by 260,000 viewers. It was also trending on Twitter.

Days prior to their match live stream on Vindes' Youtube channel scheduled on February 6, 2022. They had launched gigantic dramas on social media in hopes of stirring up the competition further. 

Desta with his social media campaign #NgapainKaburLawanSiTakabur (why run away against the arrogant) and Achrian on the other #SebelumGwLelahLoUdahKalah (before I'm tired, you have lost).

Besides the public, the match invited other fellow celebrities and famous figures to support one of the contenders. The game also had actor-comedians Vincent Rompies and Temon Templar, legendary Indonesian table tennis player Anton Suseno, stand-up comic Indra Jegel, and sportscaster Harly Valen as commentators.

People seem to have enjoyed the match and even the prior build-up. The game ends with Achrian's victory against Desta with a margin-wide score of 4-1.

Desta had a similar stunt against Indonesian actor-musician Onadio Leonardo back in October 2021. However, the success is unlike when he fought Achrian.

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Post-match and the sport's current state in Indonesia
After the competition, Achrian had hoped the match could further push the sport's popularity in Indonesia regardless of the many gimmicks and psywar they made.

He thinks that table tennis has been getting less attraction from fellow Indonesians these days. Although, almost everyone he knows in his neighborhood has a dedicated court for the sport.

The comedian tweeted and made a comment forwarded to the Indonesian Table Tennis Union's (PTMSI) higher-ups for always fighting but seems to have forgotten the athletes. 

"All of you should take care of those below (athletes). If you want to fight at the above, that is allowed, but those below should be given a match," Achrian's tweet translated.

Little did the public know, table tennis in Indonesia is in limbo following the organization's internal conflict in the last 11 years, which has yet to be resolved. At one point, the organization went through three different managements in one period.

The internal conflict had cost the sport's national championship and the sport's absence in both local as well as international competitions.

While the sport and its organization's future remains unknown, Desta's social stunt is his way of promoting himself and the sport, killing two birds with one stone.

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