ESL is happy to be welcoming Fwosh to the ESL One Frankfurt 2016 Artists’ Alley! Together with Kunkka and a number of other great artists, she will enrich the event with her incredible Dota 2 creations. We chatted with Fwosh about her many talents, ESL One Frankfurt events and more.
ESL: Hey, Fwosh - thanks for taking the time to talk to us! When did you first start playing Dota and what was it that got you hooked?
Fwosh: My pleasure! Back in my college years around 2011, my friends and I would pass time by having LAN parties, playing the old Warcraft 3 Dota. We would game for hours until our laptops overheated and we had to resort to playing on ice packs. The game really brought my friends together, and the group addiction easily transferred over to Dota 2.
ESL: When and how did your adventure with drawing begin?
Fwosh: I’ve always loved to doodle ever since I was little! My parents surprised me with a Wacom tablet when I was in middle school and from there I picked up drawing tips from YouTube tutorials. I began drawing Dota-related content three years ago and had originally planned on making a regular webcomic (still possible!) until the video parodies came along.
ESL: When and how did you transition to making videos and parodies?
Fwosh: It all started with a comment on Reddit shortly after Disney’s Frozen was released. Someone pointed out the similarity between the Frozen sisters and Crystal Maiden/Lina and this led to the creation of my first parody “Do You Want to Lane Together?”. People seemed to enjoy the video, so I continued to mix other Frozen songs with Dota themes and eventually branched out into other genres.
ESL: Out of all of the mediums you use to create content, which one is your favorite and why?
Fwosh: I think I still enjoy drawing the most. You can draw quick funny caricatures or you can put a lot of time into a detailed piece, all while listening to music or watching some streams on the side. It’s one of my favorite ways to unwind.
ESL: Do you have any personal favorites among your creations? Which and why?
Fwosh: Not really - I feel like a lot of my creations fall short of my expectations. If I had to pick from one of my parodies, I would probably say “At TI5” was the most fun to create since I had to look back and remember all the highlights from a huge week of Dota.
ESL: Can you talk us through the process of creating a parody video from start to finish?
Fwosh: Usually I start out with a theme or topic I want to write about (for instance, position five support or the Shanghai Major) and I jot down as many related words and jokes I can think of in a Notepad document. Then, I browse for a fitting song, paste the original lyrics and use my word list to rewrite everything so that the rhyme scheme and rhythm still fits. After the lyrics are done, I sing the song with karaoke backing and bring the final audio file into Premiere for video editing. After all the footage is in place and lyrics are timed, I release the final video to YouTube. Tada!
ESL: Among your other talents, you are also a cosplayer - can you tell us a bit about this? Which costume of yours is your favorite?
Fwosh: I made my first cosplay for an anime convention in high school and realized how much fun it was to bring characters to life. My favorite cosplay would have to be the Legion Commander I made for TI4. It was a lot of fun to duel people with rock, paper, scissors and carry around the “Winner!” sign.
ESL: ESL One Frankfurt is known for its great cosplay competition and incredibly talented participants. Are you looking forward to seeing this year’s cosplay in action?
Fwosh: With all the cosmetics that’ve been released, I’m hoping to see some takes on new sets or maybe some creative twists on characters we haven’t seen before. Courier cosplays? Genderbent heroes? There are so many possibilities!
ESL: Which professional Dota 2 team do you cheer for, or do you have a player you prefer to support from roster swap to roster swap?
Fwosh: I just want to watch some good Dota so I cheer for the team that plays good Dota! I’ve really been enjoying those action-packed MVP games recently.
ESL: Speaking of roster swaps: what was your reaction to and thoughts on 3.22 (#NeverForget)?
Fwosh: It was so hard to keep up during that week, geez. I was actually considering doing a parody of it all but I was on a trip and I think I missed my window. I’m excited to see how these new teams and roles will work out but I also hope for more roster stability down the road so that maybe I can actually have a team to root for.
ESL: What are you most looking forward to at ESL One Frankfurt 2016?
Fwosh: I’m looking forward to the hype and the people! Nothing beats watching your favorite game in a stadium full of the most passionate fans and friends.
ESL: What can we expect to see from you in the Artists’ Alley?
Fwosh: I’ll be drawing, answering questions about cosplay and art and potentially offering some goodies like Dota commissions, prints, buttons and whatnot. I might also be working on my own cosplay for TI (hopefully going!) at the table. Feel free to swing by and hang out!
ESL: Thank you so much for your time and see you in Frankfurt! The last words belong to you - are there any shoutouts you’d like to make?
Fwosh: Shoutouts to my backers on Patreon, subs and friends off my Twitch stream, emcee, animastryfe, Terrence and anyone who has given me the support and encouragement to keep going. This amazing community is a large part of the reason why I continue to create and it’s been a joy to see how far we’ve come. Thanks to ESL for the opportunity and I’ll see you all in Frankfurt!
The fun commences this June
Be sure to join Fwosh at Europe’s greatest Dota 2 festival - get yourself a ticket here! If you’d like an opportunity to be featured in the Artists’ Alley with your own Dota 2 art as well as win amazing prizes, make sure to sign up for our ESL One Frankfurt art competition!
Remember that you can also join us on Friday for the public viewing and opening party - more information about this can be found here. Additionally if you need a place to stay or means of transportation to the event, we’ve also got you covered with our ESL One Frankfurt hotel and buses.