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Dote Night: Pip's Cosplay Challenge

Featured post Cosplays from League of Legends and Smite - left to right you've got Lulu, Nidalee and Scylla

*deep-breaths-and-don’t-think-about-how-disastrously-this-could-go-Pip*

Hello Dote Nighters. This post marks the beginning of Pip’s Cosplay Challenge. By that I mean I am going to do my best to create a cosplay – one which I could feasibly wear to an event and people would a) be able to recognise who I was supposed to be and b) not join this tragic lineup.

The whole thing was inspired by the various amazing cosplays I’ve seen around the world at eSports events and the skill and dedication which people put into creating those costumes. I’m not even going to try to pretend I’ll match up to their work but I wanted to give it a go – find out what’s involved, talk to people about how the various aspects work and get an idea for how difficult it is.

Currently I’m armed with a sewing machine I can’t remember how to use, an internet’s worth of character models and screenshots, and a box of craft supplies which mainly consists of ALL COLOURS OF GLITTER and some origami paper. It’ll be fine.

Guan Yu

First, though, I have to work out who or what I will be cosplaying. I’ve decided it should be a Dota 2 hero because that’s the MOBA lineup I’m most familiar with – but which one?

My initial impulse was to check out the ladies*.

Legion Commander?
Too much complicated shoulder flaggery for a first effort. Also would get stuck in elevators and going through doors.

Drow?
She’s a bit less daunting from the item creation side of things but far more so in terms of ‘HI THESE ARE MY BOOBS AND THIGHS!’ I’m not ashamed of my body but nor am I looking to deal with the kind of critique that sometimes results from revealing cosplay. It’s a similar story for Mirana, Venge, Lina, Queen of Pain (obv) and to a lesser extent Crystal Maiden. Windranger is also out because having a full time job precludes the number of situps required.

Luna?
Depends on how competent I feel I would be in building my own panther.

Naga Siren?
Boobtacular plus having to work out how to do “no legs and a tail instead” successfully. Medusa gets ruled out for the latter too.

Phantom Assassin
She actually seems like a possibility so I bookmark her for further consideration.

Enchantress?
Would require half a fawn.

Spectre?
Spectre has a *lot* going on in terms of flowing drapers and sticking out bits. She also seems quite lanky and wispy on account of the whole “tortured revenant” thing. Probably needs wind machine.

Winter Wyvern or Broodmother?
Would require becoming either a wyvern or a spider.

Looking at where that leaves me, I have Phantom Assassin or nothing. I’m not particularly fond of PA so I decided to open up the selection process and consider the gentlemen and tree beasts and fish monsters of Dota 2 as well.

Wisp doesn’t have any limbs, Venomancer would ruin my spine and mean learning how to sew a sleeping bag into a monster, Meepo would require a cloning facility, Tiny has several different forms and Silencer is an insufferable prick…

Comfort picking in a whole new dimension

So you know what I did in this situation? I did exactly what I did in an actual game yesterday evening: I comfort-picked Sniper. I think he’s actually going to be a good gateway option here. There’s a cape and some footwear to get to grips with but the trousers and top will hopefully be relatively straightforward mods of pre-existing clothes, plus there’s crafting elements in the form of a big gun, some headgear and a few accessories. Lastly, I get to wear a beard which I think means I will fit in better at Games Journalist events.

I’m not sure how regularly updates on this project will come – I’m going to aim for something once a month with the goal of finishing before The International. I want to include expertise and insight from people who make cosplay props and costumes, though, either for a living or as enthusiastic amateurs. If that’s you and you fancy saying hi then drop me an email – my address is pip [at] rockpapershotgun dot com.

This is going to be fun.**

*No, not like that.

**Remind me of that as I swear my way through this entire process.

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Philippa Warr

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