To have a valid entry into the competition, the contestant/event must provide the following (in English):
- Cosplay Name (if available)
- First Name
- Date of Birth
- Phone number (for emergency contact)
- Name of character
- Source (Series/Movie/Game/Anime/etc.)
- Social media
Furthermore, each contestant/event must provide the following files:
- A reference image of the character (for display on stage, max 5MB)
- A portfolio in PDF format (max 10 MB) which should contain:
- 1-5 detailed reference images (if possible front – side – back pictures)
- 10 to 15 WIPs (work in progress pictures of your work)
- A list of used material
- An approximate amount of work time
- (short) description of your work steps as well as your material choices.
- Picture of your (mostly) completed cosplay.
- The portfolio cannot be more than 30 pages.
- An introduction video of the cosplayer (to be played as an intro before going on stage)
Important: It is possible to create a new cosplay for the final event. It is the contestants’ choice to do so. If they choose to create new cosplay, the portfolio has to be created for this new cosplay.
During the event, each cosplayer will be judged by a panel of independent international judges. It is the events’ obligation to select judges based on different skillsets, so all categories can be judged equally (For example, it is not permitted to only select judges who mainly focus on making armor). A balanced judges panel is the key to a qualified judging.
The judging is split into multiple categories:
- Needlework: Any sewing related parts of the costume
- Armor: Any armor parts of the costume
- Wig&Makeup: Wig- or hairstyling, face&body makeup/body paint, prosthetics
- Craftsmanship: Techniques, precision of work, skillsets, quality
- Propmaking: additional props to enhance the costume, such as (but not limited to) weapons, jewelry, accessories, etc.
Each category will be on a scale from 1 to 10 by each judge individually, 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest.
The person with the highest combined score in any category will win the category. Should the highest score be the same for two participants, the judges will decide again in a head to head comparison.
Best in Show is awarded to the participant with the highest overall score. It is NOT required to win a category to win “Best in Show”. Should the highest score be the same between two participants, the judges will decide again in a head to head comparison.
The final decision for any of the winners is made by the judges. They can change their scoring based on a later assessment, such as new information. The judges will receive any portfolio material sent in by the participants, and will factor this into the final judgement.
The stage portion is to present the cosplay to the audience. No stage performance will be factored into the final judges score. The contestant has 30 seconds to one minute to present their cosplay to the audience, and to show off their work. There will be several marked spots on stage that the contestant has to stand on, as to give photographers time to take pictures in that position. The stage portion will also be live streamed through twitch, as to give viewers everywhere the chance to view the competition. There will also be an “audience favorite” vote, which is based through an app, so everyone can cast their vote accordingly worldwide.
The following cannot be used in your costumes, to ensure the safety of the event:
- Cutting weapons or tools: Any prop made with a cutting edge of any metal or ceramic
- Firearms: Any prop that can fire projectiles that can cause harm (Nerf and similar are permitted, the event takes no responsibility in retrieving any projectiles)
- Incendiary devices: Any prop intended to cause a fire
- Liquids: The use of liquids is strictly prohibited on stage and during judging.
- All products that would require cleanup, such as confetti, glitter, etc.
- Costumes that have already placed in other contests are excluded from participation. This includes any award (except audience vote).
- The same is valid for original creations (OCs) or personal characters. Costume variations are only permitted with reference art (such as designs by Zach Fischer or Hannah Alexandre Designs). It has to be proven that the reference art was done prior to the costume creation, to prevent people from creating reference art based on their costumes after completion.
- Furthermore, costumes have to be at least 80-90% self-made and will not be permitted otherwise. Exceptions will be made for things like contact lenses, shoes, wigs, etc. as well as using other people’s equipment (such as using someone else’s 3D printer after modelling your own file)
- Any depiction of sexual activity, racist or slandering behavior or similar is not allowed, and will lead to disqualification. Depiction of racist symbols or such that can be associated with such (e.g. Swastika on “Tokyo Revengers” costumes) are illegal in Austria, and can therefore not be used.
- Contestants are only eligible for participation if they are 18 and over at the time of the qualifying event.
- Should any of these exclusion/disqualification reasons come to light after the contest, the contestant will be retroactively disqualified, and by applying to this contest you agree that you will return the entire prize, should such things come to pass.
There are several reasons why a person is excluded from being a judge. These are as follows:
- Any person who has a personal or professional connection to the event.
- Any person not qualified to judge the crafting section of the competition (Such as, but not limited to: Celebrities, Experts in fields outside of cosplay (i.e. blacksmiths), cosplayers who don’t create their own costumes).
- Any person qualified for the final event.
The winner of the final event will automatically be added as a judge for next year’s competition, and can therefore not compete in any qualifier in the following year.
By participating in any of the qualifiers and the final, each participant agrees that the organizing event can use pictures and videos provided or taken at the event for any promotional purposes (but not for any defamatory use). No claims can be made against the organizing event.
Each participant agrees that they will be available for the final event, from 20. to 22. of October 2023, in Vienna, Austria. Should the winner not be available due to professional conflict, the runner up is eligible to compete in the final event.