Lucian from League of Legends // Cosplayer : @Knightmage1 // Photo : Gwen Graham

First off, admittedly I’ve never played the game League of Legends but I’ve always been open and honest about my feelings and how it’s perfectly ok when it comes to cosplaying characters from various media you might not be familiar with. Now, with that being said, Riot Games held one of their events, Nexus in Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Nexus is a huge festival combining League of Legends gaming tournaments, music and cosplay. This was particularly historic as it was Riot Games first time hosting an event in the Middle East. I was honored to have been invited to participate in the event as their official cosplay judge for their cosplay contest which carried $200,000 in cash prizes. I wasn’t required to wear a League of Legends costume for the event but I felt it would be only appropriate if I did.

From the date, I was asked to participate to the date of the event was only 2 weeks so I had to think of characters that I knew I could realistically get done within a 2 day time span due to other obligations such as my day job as well as would be able to easily travel with. I also always choose characters that looks like they would be fun to create. I settled on making two costumes from LOL for the event and they were Malzahar and Lucian.

I’m always about creating outside the box. Modifying things, exercising those creative muscles and most importantly doing things on a budget. With Lucian, I started with his iconic white trench coat. I took a thick material plus size women’s dress and modified it to have the appearance of a long tailed coat. All the armor, buckles and straps are craft foam which are attached to the dress now coat. The neckpiece and leg armor are foam. The chest piece is also craft foam but it’s attached to a black shirt. For the iconic braided hair Lucian has I took individual long braids and attached them to a piece of craft foam which I then attach to the top of my head using liquid latex. The makeup used for the rest of my hair and shadowing on my face is black WolfeFx. For the dual guns he wields I took Reaper, from the game Overwatch, toy nerd guns and repainted and modified them to look more similar to Lucian’s. Lastly were the contacts for the eyes.

Doing international events there are always some funny and interesting happenings especially when it comes to the play aspect of cosplay. People really playing into the “no, you’re not dressed as the character, you are the character”. Just in general the overall love and excitement I got from people seeing this character brought to life was incredible.

Gwen Graham

Cosplay has not just affected my life, it’s become an integral part of my life. So many doors have been opened due to it. I’ve been able to travel the world, experience other cultures, meet incredible people, network with companies and people I could’ve only dreamed to work with. Not only that but I’ve been able to give back so much to not just my community but communities and charities throughout the world because of cosplay. I can honestly say that not only am I in a better position in life but I’m a better person in general both physically and mentally because of cosplay.

28/29 Days of Cosplay is this month and it’s always a great reminder to those who are fans of cosplay of not just the incredible POC cosplayers that are out there but also a reminder that we still have a long way to go in the cosplay community and society in general because a specific time is still needed for POC to get their moments to shine. Many cosplay pages have gotten better with the diversity in who they share and highlight throughout the year but it’s still a bit lopsided.

With cosplay becoming more mainstream and so many people joining in on it, I think it’s extremely important to not only remember but preach these things:
– Be Kind
– Be Proud
– Be Humble
– Be Yourself
– Be Accepting 

Gwen Graham