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The Dota 2 Cosplayers of The International 12

SteelSeries sponsors the cosplay competition this year. Check out the amazing candidates for that entered the competition at this year's Dota 2 The International tournament!


Dota 2 is back in Seattle once again, at the Climate Pledge Arena. A storied location of many epic battles, the energy is palpable in the air as contestants from all over the world vie for ownership of the Aegis of Champions.

Alongside the heated competition, cosplayers from various parts of the world come to showcase their passion and craft, infusing it into the world of Dota 2.

We've interviewed some of the cosplay entrants to hear more about them. Check out their interviews below to see how they came to be here!

Windranger - NA45

Windranger Dota

Austin, Texas

What does cosplay mean to you?

I think it's really fun, because I I'm a software engineer, so I don't get to do this kind of stuff with my hands, so this is my outlet for creativity, it's a lot of fun.

Why did you pick this character?

Windranger is one of my favorite characters, and I've always wanted to do a crossplay, so I've decided I was going to do one. Also it's pretty prop-light, so I got to do non-prop work, like sewing, and that kind of stuff.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

I've been working on it for 4 months probably. Some of it is 3D printed. I went to my local Joanne's every 3 days or so. A lot of fabric and upholstery.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

My favorite part, probably old Tinker, I used to play mid, I would rush Dagon and Boots of Travel, and man, that was fun. I miss those days.

Mirana - Knovice Cosplay

Mirana Dota

What does cosplay mean to you?

Cosplay means having fun and connecting with other nerds and artists and all that. TI 2015 was the very first time I cosplayed, as Windrunner, and my dad helped me sew my outfit. By meeting other cosplayers, I've had so much fun, I decided to keep doing it.

Why did you pick this character?

I picked her becaues I made I made this in a few weeks, and I happened to have fabrics leftover in my stash from other projects. So I thought I could make a fun little Mirana costume for TI.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

I took about 3 or 4 weeks working pretty religioulsy on it. It's a boned corset, so there's boning layers on it and worbla for the armor.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

That's how I met my partner! I used to play a lot.

Phantom Assassin - 7inmyhouse

Phantom Assassin Dota

俄罗斯

What does cosplay mean to you?

It's a pretty lovely hobby for me, it's one that I love doing with my girlfriend, she's a very passionate person. She wanted to come with me as well, with her Muerta cosplay, but she couldn't get her visa. This whole event is a possibility for me to represent both of us.

Why did you pick this character?

Yeah, well, this is the one I have the most hours with. Sometimes it breaks my heart when crits don't land but it doesn't happen that often.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

This costume took approximately 130 hours, so about a month of work, about 4 hours a day. Materials, since my girlfriend is an experienced cosplayer, she already knows all of her suppliers. Basically, she provided me with much of the materials and details on how to make this costume look even better. I'm not the better cosplayer in this duo! It was quite easy to make this because I had a lot of help from her.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

The fact that it constantly evolves, it's never the same. Each patch makes it very different to what it has been, and for that reason, I already have 4,000 hours in the game, and I still continue playing it.

Vengeful Spirit - Fwivo

Vengeful Spirit Dota

密苏里州

What does cosplay mean to you?

It's my number 1 hobby. I initially started cosplay in 2014 as a way to pass time for The International. I've just been hooked every since, It's been so amazing to bring your favorite character to life as you.

Why did you pick this character?

I love Vengeful Spirt, she's really fun to play. I really love her and Skywrath's lore. She also has such a dope color scheme with all her sets and such, and she's just a really beautiful-written character.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

I started keeping track of the hours, but I lost it... somewhere around 250 hours. It's mostly EVA foam for the interesting stuff and fabric is fabric. I get it mostly online, because I can get the exact color and feel I want. Physical stores are good to see what you want, but you can't always find exactly what you want in stock.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

Just playing with my friends every night. We have years of memories just playing this game and doing dumb stuff all the time.

Alchemist - Styrogirls

Alchemist Dota

Vancouver, BC

What does cosplay mean to you?

Tarrin: We've done TI 8 in Vancouver. It's a lot easier to get to this one since it's close again. This cosplay was a bit tricky to get through elevators and such.

Why did you pick this character?

Tarrin: We did Ogre Magi in 2018, and it was just so much fun. When we saw this one, because there's two of us, there needs to be two characters.

Sorrel: And just to be clear, I'm the smart one up there, and she's the doofus, down there. We only ever do two-person costumes, we don't know how to do single-person costumes! We looked at Jakiro (the two-headed dragon) but we had to reject it because there are no legs.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

Tarrin: We actually reuse a lot of our old costumes because we make a lot of them. We chop them up and sometimes when you work on these old parts, they have glue, but we really like that, because it's like our costumes live on.

Sorrel: One of the pieces is from a Thai fighter, there's a barge in there, an English bay barge, so it's like a Frankenstein of parts.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

Tarrin: The cosplay! I don't play Dota, I have close friends who do who tell me all about cosplay, and they tell me about the competition, so I'm like, yes, I can get on board that.

Sorrel: I love all the concept art with all the characters, they're just amazing. A lot of them we can't do because the girth has to be big enough to fit two girls. A lot of them are too small, so we can only go with the biggies.

Pugna - Kronoschick

Pugna Dota

San Jose, California

What does cosplay mean to you?

Cosplay is fun, I've been doing costume design for theatre, but cosplay is different, because you're completely transforming into the character. It's not just period pieces. Working with foam is super fun, you can actually use your imagination. It presents some really interesting challenges because you're not playing real characters.

Why did you pick this character?

Because my boyfriend, who is a Divine-level player, loves playing Pugna. It's his best hero. I originally made the cosplay for him, and when we realized that for the contest you had to be wearing what you made, I modified it to fit me.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

I started this about a year and a half ago, off and on, I didn't work on it all the time. Most of my materials came from a variety of sources like Amazon, Michael's Joanne's.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

It's ridiculously difficult. It's so hard. I'm a Herald player, and it's just brutal. I play Bristleback a lot, and I usually feed, because, you know, it's Dota. But my favorite part of Dota is that it's so challenging, and it's really rewarding when you're successful.

Crystal Maiden - Dan

Crystal Maiden Dota

San Francisco, California

What does cosplay mean to you?

I really like doing it, I haven't done it that much, but I've always liked dressing up since I was little. When I was a kid I would make my own Halloween costumes, I like being close to the shows that I like and stuff. It makes me happy.

Why did you pick this character?

I like playing this character, and she's really fun, because you know, everybody tries to kill her because she's easy to kill. But when you finally kill someone who's been trying to kill you, it's really satisfying.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

The materials came from all over, I did a lot of research. I went to local stores like Discount Fabrics, Michaels, Blick, and Home Depot, as well as Amazon for certain pieces. I didn't record the hours but it took over 2 months.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

I like learning how the matchups work against each other. I wouldn't consider myself super good or anything. When you get beat by someone really good you want to try their character and see how they killed you so much. It's always a learning experience, it's always challenging and rewarding.

Skywrath Mage - ChiyuNekoo

Skywrath Mage dota

Vancouver

What does cosplay mean to you?

It's a way for me to be creative. It's about my 10th year cosplaying. I've been on and off, but I got into it with Ari from League of Legends. I didn't know a single person cosplaying, but I saw people doing it, and thought it looked like a lot of fun and wanted to try it. I learned how to hand sew and learned things by trial and error. Throughout the years it taught me a lot of skills: I know how to cut hair, sew things when pants rip. It's a lot of crafy life skills.

Why did you pick this character?

It's the first character that I learned, but I also just really like anything with wings and gold, but also when I saw this skin, I loved the astronomy look, even though it looks like Silencer, I like it, yeah.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

I'd say about 1 and a half years of consistent work, with some work on weeknights and weekends hammering away on parts. A lot of the material I'd say is done with EVA foam, and the staff is mostly done with styrofoam and also primed with a lot of gesso. The wings took a lot of foam, probably more rolls than they should, and I'm pretty bad for killing the environment, yeah.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

A lot of it is playing with friends, friends that are also here with me helping me put everything together. Also my husband got me into this game, and we yell at each other a lot. It's healthy venting but also teamwork. I mostly play Support, but they'll tell you I play a very greedy Support, but I'm very bad at last hitting, so I don't want to take responsibility and do Carry!

Anti-Mage - Sunraeeee

Anti Mage Dota

马来西亚

What does cosplay mean to you?

Cosplay means to be a character, to bring a character to life. Not only you appreciate people who cosplay really well, when you see your favorite character come to life, you're like, wow!

Why did you pick this character?

This set was first released was about a month ago, and I was like... s***. 1 month is kind of short, but I was like, I should just do it. YOLO. So I challenged myself, but I really like it, it's like Japanese-theme ish, and I really like the character, she's so attractive to me. So when she had this set (released), I said yes, I'm going to do it.

Where did you get your materials and how long did it take?

It took a while. In Malaysia, it's really hard to get a lot of materials. I had to order a lot from Australia, which took about 2 weeks. In the final week before this week I still had materials coming. I was really stressed out about it. Apart from that, mostly online. Sometimes I go to a store, and they don't have what I want, so that's why people tend to shop online now.

What's your favorite part of Dota?

Playing with friends, and having those moments with friends. Comeback is real! But you win. Not throwing the game. There used to be a time when we played at cyber cafes. We had our own computers, but we wanted to play at cyber cafes in person. that's how we hang out. Nowadays, people don't really go to cyber cafes. I don't play Anti-Mage, I just really like her character a lot!

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