The International Cosplay Competition Rules and Guidelines

A. General

1. Valve is the sponsor of the Cosplay Competition at The International (the “Contest”) which will be held at The International ("The International") event in Seattle, Washington on August 7-12. The contestants will be judged based on their DOTA 2 costume and performance and Valve will award a maximum sum of $15,000 to the winning contestants. The Contest will occur in two phases. Fifteen "Finalist Winners” will be chosen based on the judge’s selection criteria at a prejudging event and three “Primary Winners” will be chosen from the Finalist Winners following their appearance on the DOTA 2 stage during The International. Contestants must attend The International in order to be eligible to win. Contestants without The International entrance tickets will be granted admission for the two Contest events.

B. Minimum requirements for cosplay

1. Cosplay should represent a complete outfit i.e. apparel and accessories that is representative of a Dota 2 Hero.

2. The Contest focuses on craftsmanship and only costumes that are handcrafted or mostly handcrafted will be eligible. Store purchased accessories and components are allowed insofar as they represent 20% or less of the finished look.

3. Cosplayers must provide a reference picture and be able to discuss their cosplay costume creation process.

C. Sponsor

1. Valve Corporation, a Washington corporation, is the sponsor of the Contest. Valve is located at 10900 NE 4th St, Bellevue WA 98004 Suite 500. Valve and its contractors will manage the Contest.

D. Competition Location

1. The prejudging event will occur on August 10th, 2017 in Fisher Pavilion and the winner selection event will occur on August 11th, 2017.

2. The Competition will occur in the Key Arena venue in Seattle, Washington on August 11th as part of The International.

E. Eligibility

1. No purchase is necessary.

2. The International event ticket is not necessary

3. Contestants must:

a. Be 18 years or older (as of July 10th, 2017)

b. Have a registered Steam account with Tax Information forms completed

c. Be in attendance at The International in Seattle, Washington for both the prejudging and winner selection events.

d. Complete the online submission form which includes contact details, a jpg reference picture of the intended. Incomplete or illegible documentation or distorted pictures will not be accepted as a valid submission;

e. Consent to the use of their likeness and other information relating to their costume or presence at the event.

4. Submission of all materials must be complete by August 10 (prejudging).

5. Valid submissions must contain a character or likeness to a character from the DOTA 2 game and be appropriate for all audiences.

6. No nudity or graphic content.

7. Employees of Valve or other companies associated with the Contest, as well as immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each are not eligible to enter the Contest.

F. Costumes

1. Costumes must represent a DOTA 2 character.

2. The Contest focuses on craftsmanship and only costumes that are handcrafted or mostly (i.e. 80%) handcrafted will be eligible to participate. Store purchased accessories and components are allowed insofar as they represent 20% or less of the finished look.

3. Costumes and accompanying props may not include (1) edged weapons; (2) projectile weapons; (3) props made of metal; or (4) bows or crossbows with strings. Valve reserves the right to remove props that it deems unsafe or inappropriate.

4. No open flame, liquid, powder or “flash” paper is allowed on stage.

5. No laser pointers are allowed.

6. No liquids, gels, or any slippery or messy substance allowed on stage.

7. Costumes must be maneuverable enough to enter and exit the main stage.

8. Contestants are free to use any DOTA 2 Intellectual Property owned by Valve in the creation of their costume, but If using any non-Valve IP, the contestant must be the copyright owner of the copyrighted work or have explicit permission from the owner.

9. Contestants without tickets to The International will be granted access to the prejudging and winner selection events for purposes of participating in the Contest.

G. Judging

10. The Judges will be chosen by Valve and may include Valve employees.

11. Judges will evaluate the contestant’s costumes and performances based on the following criteria. All decisions by the judges are final.

a. Quality of craftsmanship for each costume element

b. Creativity, materials used, stitching, fit, attention to details, overall complexity level, and functionality of the costume;

c. Hand crafted costume elements vs. store purchased costume elements

d. Likeness to actual characters within the DOTA 2 universe, as depicted in the registered reference materials.

e. Maneuverability and on-stage presentation while in costume.

H. Prizes

1. The International 2017 DOTA 2 Cosplay Contest has a total prize pool of $15,000.

2. $7500 of the prize pool will be awarded to fifteen Finalist Winners at $500 each.

3. Finalist Winners must be

a. in attendance at the prejudging event (August 10th, 2017);

b. if chosen, claim their spot for the winner selection event within 60 minutes of their notification of being one of the fifteen Finalist Winners;

c. attend the winner selection event for consideration as a Primary Winner.

Finalist Winners who fail to claim their spot for the winner selection within the 60-minute time frame or fail to attend the winner selection event, forfeit their status as a Finalist Winner and are not eligible for the $500 prize. In the case of a contestant forfeiture, contest organizers will offer the slot to the next placed contestant in the prejudging event or allow participation for the slot to lapse.

4. The Primary Winners will be awarded an additional $7500 in the following increments:

a. $3500 for the first place winner

b. $2500 for the second place winner

c. $1500 for the third place winners

5. In order to be considered as a Primary Winner, Finalist Winners must be a. in attendance at the winner selection event (August 11th, 2017)

b. in costume.

c. Primary Winners will only be considered from the pool of 15 Finalist Winners who also attend the winner selection event on August 11th.

6. Contestants without entry tickets to The International will be granted free admission to the two Contest events in order to participate in the Contest.

Contestants will be required to show their accepted online submission documentation as proof of their participation.

I. Taxes

1. Prize winners will be responsible for taxes associated with their prize winnings and for filing any governmental documentation required by taxing authorities. Contestants must provide the Sponsor with sufficient information to notify the contestant regarding potential tax filings.

J. Publicity Rights/Release

1. Contestants grant Valve Corporation and its agents the right to distribute, exhibit, publish and otherwise utilize throughout the world in perpetuity their appearance, performance, name, biographical information, statements and any other aural or visual effect relating to their role as a contestant in the Contest (collectively, “Likeness”) in any and all manner and media, including without limitation, the marketing, publication, syndication and distribution of materials containing the Likeness to third parties and the public.

Contestants expressly waive, release, and discharge Valve from and against any and all claims, demands or liabilities of any and every nature, arising at any time from or in connection with its use of their Likeness.

K. Applicable Laws

1. The Contest is subject to Washington law. Contestants may not participate if the laws of their jurisdiction prohibit this activity. Valve reserves the right to decline access to the Contest to any potential contestant for violation of these rules or based on its belief that the contestant’s participation would be inappropriate or harmful.


1. When do I need to be in costume to participate in the Cosplay Contest?

You will need to be in full cosplay with all your props for the prejudging and, if you qualify, for the finals. The prejudging will be held on August 10th, 2017 and the final will take place on August 11th, 2017

2. What if I don’t have a ticket to the Main Event? Can I still participate?

The International Cosplay competition is open to all cosplayers interested to participate, whether or not they have purchased tickets to the Main Event. The contest organizers will make sure that all registrants have access into the area designated for prejudging. Subsequently, finalists will gain access to the last two days of the Main Event, should they not be ticket holders.

3. If I don’t register but will be at The International in cosplay, can I still get the Cosplay Crest?

a. Registration for the cosplay contest is required to receive a Cosplay Crest.

b. If you do not manage to register online for the cosplay contest, you can still register on site between August 7 and 9 and receive your Cosplay Crest.

c. In order to successfully register for the contest, you must meet the minimum requirements.

D. All registered cosplayers will receive the Cosplay Crest, however active participation in the contest (attending prejudging + winner selection event) is not a requirement.

4. If I qualify for the finals, can I have somebody with me to help me with the costume and set-up?

No. Access to the Main Event on the last two days will be given only to each individual finalist. If you absolutely cannot put on your costume by yourself or perform without assistance, the organizers and their crew will be there to help.

5. Is there a limit on how many people can register?

As of yet no, but organizers reserve the right to put a cap on registrations