ESL One at New York Super Week is kicking off in a week’s time, and will see the world’s eight best Dota 2 teams attend and battle it out for the ESL One championship title as well as their share of a US$250,000 prize pool.
As is tradition, ESL One at New York Super Week will feature a cosplay contest, with many talented cosplayers attending to show off their work and enrich the entire event. Here we chat to cosplay contest participant Wicked about the costume she is preparing, cosplaying as a hobby and the event itself.
ESL: Hi there! Firstly, how did your adventure with cosplay begin?
Wicked: Probably the same way it does for most people: I saw someone dressed up as a character and thought it was really cool and that I'd like to be able to do that. After going to a couple of conventions with some friends and wearing some poorly made costumes, I was hooked.
ESL: Who will you be cosplaying as at ESL One at New York Super Week?
Wicked: I'll be cosplaying Queen of Pain's Chained Mistress set!
ESL: Why did you choose that particular hero? Do you identify with them in some way?
Wicked: I actually chose Queen of Pain because I wanted to try my hand at making some armor, but nothing as expensive or complex as Legion Commander. As far as identifying with the character, sadly I'm not a succubus, nor can my screams kill my enemies - as much as I may wish they could.
ESL: How are the preparations going? Which part of the cosplay has been proving the most difficult to make?
Wicked: I just finished! So far everything has been pretty straightforward. The most problematic thing has been designing wings that would hold their shape and look the way I want them to while still being able to fold small enough to fit into my suitcase. Beyond that, the only problem is trying to burn my poor fingers with hot glue as little as possible.
ESL: What is your favorite thing about cosplaying?
Wicked: There's so much I like about it. I like working on projects of any kind, and I like making things. I like taking pictures with fans and showing off my costume, but if I had to pick something, I'd say my favorite part is the satisfaction of trying all the pieces of your cosplay on for the first time and having everything work the way you wanted it to!
ESL: Who is your favorite Dota 2 hero and why?
Wicked: Oh, that's a hard one. Probably Crystal Maiden at the moment, as Lina is about to be nerfed into oblivion. Crystal Maiden is the perfect pub hero! Her Q and E are so good at level one, she can find farm in the jungle, her E gives mana to your scrub teammates who probably can't count their mana anyway and her ult is amazing in teamfights. Some of us are good at things like farming or positioning, and some of us are really good at finding a nice place to sit back and press R from.
ESL: What other video games do you play? Do you also cosplay characters from them (or indeed other characters from popular culture)?
Wicked: I've actually been really monogamous with Dota lately, but when I do play other games, it's usually Bloodborne or other Souls games. I eventually want to cosplay the Yharnam hunter set from Bloodborne. As for other non-Dota-related cosplays, only a few: San from Princess Mononoke, Zuko from Avatar and a few others too insignificant to mention.
ESL: What is your dream cosplay?
Wicked: Wow, what a hard question. If we're talking something completely outside my range of skills, probably Ornstein from Dark Souls.
ESL: When did you first get into Dota?
Wicked: Coming up on two years ago.
ESL: Did you attend last year’s ESL One New York?
Wicked: I did not, but I'm very excited to attend this year!
ESL: Which team are you going to be supporting at the upcoming event? Do you think they are capable of winning it all?
Wicked: I'm going to say Secret just because I like Puppey, but I don't know. If no throwing occurs (looking at you, EE), I think they have a good shot.
ESL: What are you most looking forward to at ESL One at New York Super Week?
Wicked: Other than the games, definitely seeing my Dota fam and people I only get to see at events like this.
ESL: Thanks for chatting with us and have fun in New York! Are there any shoutouts you’d like to make?
Wicked: Absolutely! Shoutout to my Twitch viewers who made it possible for me to come to this event! You guys are all 10/10. Also to Akutober and EDJE, neither of which would fit in my suitcase and therefore cannot attend.
We hope you’re looking forward to seeing Wicked and her fellow cosplayers at the Madison Square Garden Theater as much as we are! Don’t miss out - join us live for ESL One at New York Super Week by grabbing a ticket here!