During The Chongqing Major, StarLadder, the organizers behind this massive Dota 2 tournament, approached us with a task to create the trophy for the tournament, featuring a Chinese Dragon. This was a pretty important task as, without a trophy, there wouldn't be a tournament to start with.
With the task set in motion, we got to work. We hired a brilliant sculptor by the name of Liubomyr, who turned a yellow shapeless mass of plasticine into a rough silhouette of the Dragon that was set to headline the trophy.
From there, the team began with the detailing; they added the scales, which on paper sounds pretty easy but trust us, it's no easy task. There are nearly a thousand tiny scales that have to be manually carved and later glued in one after the other to the torso to give it that ultra-realistic look.
With the model of the Dragon and the scales added, it was now time for the base as every tournament trophy requires one. A wooden frame was made, which was later covered with plastic to allow for it to be decorated with artwork, in this case, fire and flames. Once done, the Dragon was placed on top, and a trophy for The Chongqing Major had a rough shape.
But the Dragon wasn't enough; the trophy needed something more. So, a Dota 2 symbol was made. We 3D printed a mold of the symbol and then cast it from plastic a few times until the results became perfect. After that, a craftsman worked on the "live fire." This was done by adding in several layers of epoxy, manually creating a bright, life-like shine for the fire. Furthermore, to strengthen the effect of the fire, LED lights were added to highlight the flames.
With all of the physical work done to the body of the trophy, it was now time for the painter to get to work, whose sole task was to bring the Dragon to life. Make it feel "alive." And from what we saw at the tournament, the painter did just that. Plus, we used a special painting technique, which created what is known as the "Mona Lisa Effect." So, regardless of where you look at the trophy from, it always seems as if the Dragon is looking straight at you.
With the base, the Dragon, the symbol, and the paint job done, you might think that the job was over. But no, our craftsmen are perfectionists, and hence, for the next 48 hours, the team worked on polishing all of the flaws and bumps. It is because of this dedication; we feel we are the best in the business.
Once all of it was done, the trophy underwent a short photo session and was later packed and sent to Chongqing, where after a few days, we would see Team Secret lift the trophy into the air for everyone to see.