The International 2018 Cosplay Competition Rules and Guidelines

A. General

1. PGL Esports is the sponsor of the Cosplay Competition at The International (the “Contest”) which will be held at The International 2018(“The International”) event in Vancouver, Canada on August 20-25. Contestants must attend The International in order to be eligible to win. The contestants will be judged based on their DOTA 2 costume and presentation and PGL Esports 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 Judging Event. Four “Skill Winners” will be chosen from the Finalist Winners which will then be announced during the Winner Presentation Event. Contestants without The International entrance tickets will be granted admission for the two Contest events.

Organizers reserve the right to change the competition requirements, format, schedule and prize pool distribution according to needs and circumstances. Competition participants will be notified via email/Discord/Instant messaging whenever these changes are put in effect.

B. Sponsor

PGL Esports Corporation, a Bucharest corporation, is the sponsor of the Contest. PGL Esports is located at Bd. Dimitrie Pompei, nr. 9-9A, IRIDE Business Park, Bucharest, Romania. PGL Esports and its contractors will manage the Contest.

C. Competition Location

1. The Competition will occur in Vancouver, Canada, as part of The International Main Event taking place on August 20-25, 2018.

2. The Judging and the Winner Presentation event will take place on August 23rd, August 24th respectively.

D. Eligibility

  1. Contestants must:

a. Be 18 years or older (as of July 10th, 2018)

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

c. Be in attendance at The International in Vancouver, Canada 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 character to be cosplayed, work in progress materials. 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.

2. Submission of all materials must be complete by August 21st. Participants are required to provide Work in Progress and Reference pictures via the registration form or email. If no such materials are provided until August 21st, then the participant may be disqualified.

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

4. No nudity or graphic content.

5. Employees of PGL Esports 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.

6. Organizers reserve the right to reject the registration of individuals that have broken the rules and guidelines of a previous edition of the competition or behaved inappropriately/ in a belligerent manner to their fellow cosplayers.

E. 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. PGL Esports reserves the right to remove props that it deems unsafe or inappropriate.

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

5. No laser pointers are allowed.

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

7. Costumes must be maneuverable enough to enter and exit the presentation area.

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. It is not allowed to enter the competition with handcrafted costumes designed by somebody else. Handmade accessories designed by third parties are allowed in so much as they do not represent more than 20% of the finished costume.

10. If contestants are not honest and upfront about the origin of the costumes and accessories during the Judging Event, they risk elimination from the contest and may receive a lifetime ban from future PGL Esports cosplay events.

11. Contestants are not allowed to register for the 2018 edition of the Competition with the same costumes they registered and competed with at a previous edition.

F. Judging

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

11. Judges will evaluate the contestants’ 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 presentation while in costume.

G. Prizes

1. The International 2018 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 judging event;

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 presentation event for consideration as a Skill 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 judging event or allow participation for the slot to lapse.

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

a. $3000 for the Best In Show Award

b. $1500 for the Best Technique Award

c. $1500 for the Biggest Transformation Award

d. $1500 for the Most Innovative Award

5. Organisers reserve the right to alter, modify or rename the Skill awards depending on contestant line-up and judges feedback.

6. In order to redeem their prizes, all Winners must be in attendance in costume at both competition events: Judging and Presentation.

7. Prize money will be paid within 60 days of the Presentation event. Winners must submit necessary information to redeem their prizes within 30 days of the Presentation event.

H. 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.

I. Publicity Rights/Release

1. Contestants grant PGL Esports 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.

2. Contestants expressly waive, release, and discharge PGL Esports 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.

J. Applicable Laws

1. The Contest is subject to Canadian law. Contestants may not participate if the laws of their jurisdiction prohibit this activity. PGL Esports 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.

K. Disqualification

  1. Any participant who does not comply with one of the articles from these rules or with the regulations will be automatically disqualified.
  2. Any participant that has been found to lie about the origin of his or her costume will be disqualified immediately.
  3. Any contestant found guilty of vandalism, theft, verbal or physical aggression, online bullying, shocking behavior or any other crime during the competition will be immediately and irrevocably disqualified.
  4. Organizers reserve the right to retract prizes from Winners if they have broken the rules of the competition. In such cases, the prizes will be transferred to other contestants that have fulfilled the necessary criteria.


  1. Who can register and compete in The International 2018 Cosplay Competition?

Any individual who can attend the International 2018 and construct a Dota 2 cosplay can sign up to participate in the Cosplay competition at the event. You do not need to be an event attendee.

The contest organizers will make sure that all registrants have access into the area designated for judging. Subsequently, finalists will gain access to the last two days of the Main Event, should they not be ticket holders.

2. When do I need to be in cosplay for this Competition?

You will need to be in full cosplay with all your props for the evaluation and, if you qualify, for the live presentation. The judging and the winner presentation will take place on August 23rd, August 24th respectively.

3. Do you allow groups to sign up for the competition?

No. This is an individual competition. We do not allow groups to compete against individuals. Human “props” ar allowed in so much as they represent only an accessory in the competing costume and will be discussed on a case by case basis

4. 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.

5. What is the best way to keep contact with the organizers?

The PGL Cosplay Discord server. Participants who register will receive their link after completing the registration form.

6. What are the Skill Awards?

Best In Show Award ($3000)  - Offered for the highest overall score for a participant following the Judging Event

Best Technique Award ($1500) - offered to the cosplayer with the cleanest most precise work; the cosplay needs to impress through design, maneuverability and resistance.

Biggest Transformation Award ($1500) - Cosplay must represent a complete outfit that impresses in scope and construction. Strong visual impact will play a key role but it must also be well made and wearable.

Most Innovative Award ($1500) - offered to the cosplayer that will prove to be most adept at working around constraints, improvising and finding clever budget conscious solutions.