Cosplay Challenge Conquered!

By Mhija

For the first time ever, we invited cosplayers to a special lab crafted just for them! The Cosplay Lab, like its predecessors the Creator Lab and YouTube Lab, was envisioned as a three-day workshop focusing on the theory, craft, and art of cosplay. But, as is the case when you put a bunch of brilliant minds in a room, it turned into so much more.

With limited space at the event and the hope this would be the first of many, we welcomed just over 40 cosplayers to Los Angeles for the Lab, chosen because of their positive impact on the community and range of expertise, so that they might support and learn from one another. In the end, first-time cosplayers and seasoned cosplay veterans had no problems mixing together to create one big, awesome cuddle puddle.

The cosplayers wasted no time making the workspace their own, leaving their marks on the workbenches…

...and on each other.

As soon as everyone was assigned a group, the work began. Speakers Ben Bayouth and Jake Corrick of Stoopid Buddy Studios presented first, giving the crowd background on one of their recent projects, the infamous Thresh Puppet. Going into further detail on pattern making, one of the techniques used for the giant Thresh, they taught a workshop wherein they created a giant foam sword and explored patterning for more organic shapes.

Cosplayers were also briefed about The Challenge. Using their experience, varying skill sets, and the new techniques they’d learn throughout the workshop, their mission was to create a pitch and plans for an epic, pie-in-the-sky cosplay idea that would challenge them on the same scale as a huge Thresh. Because each team was given randomized constraints to amp up the stakes, they joked that some of them may end up having to create a ten foot Yordle -- lo and behold, that’s exactly what one group got assigned!

Vensy of Vensy Props joined the Lab as one of the attendees, but her formal training made her the perfect choice to teach a class about molding as well! She gave the cosplayers an overview of her techniques, demoed pouring a mold, and then made a cast from it. The second half of her workshop focused on her famous light-up wards. She led the group in soldering the wires and assembling the lights, all while showing off her cat obsession with a cat kigu dress and a cat-infested presentation.

The Lab concluded with a trip to Riot HQ, where the teams presented the concepts they’d dreamed up for The Challenge. Here the creators shined, showing off the depths of their imaginations and drive with out-of-this-world pitches for cosplays like a full-sized Skaarl puppet with Kled on it’s back; a giant Super Galaxy Rumble, complete with sound effects; a lifesize ‘Stargot’ to show off a fan-imagined Star Guardian skin for Urgot; a 10-foot tall “Little” Devil Teemo with floating crown; a realistic Master Chef Tahm Kench that could be assembled and operated solo; a giant Anivia puppet operated by six people; a portable Hextech Annie and Tibbers experience for players to interact with; and an immersive survival experience of being hunted by Kha’zix.

After a tour and a few Rioters’ surprise Star Guardian transformation, the cosplay group treated the Riot campus to its first ever cosplay fashion show! Well-known cosplays and debuts graced the stage, showing off each creator’s technical craft and command of their characters.

The event ended as all should, with hugs, happy tears, and budding friendships. We hope this is the first of many Cosplay Labs to come, and that we have an opportunity to include much more of this brilliant community. A big thank you to all who participated! Check out the list of cosplayers below and give them your love and support!

Who knows, maybe someday we’ll see one of these epic cosplay pitches come to life! Let us know which idea was your favorite in the comments below, or show off your own!

2 years ago

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