Logo of DreamHack Atlanta
October 4-6, 2024
Atlanta, Georgia

Cosplay Contest

Cosplay Competition

October 5, 2024

The DreamHack Cosplay Competition will take place at DreamHack Atlanta on Saturday, October 5th, 2024.

Our competition is a catwalk event where participants walk on stage and have ~1 minute to showcase their embodied character/build before exiting. While we do not feature performances, even for the Expert tier, we do award additional points for presentation (star power points), with the majority of points still coming from craftsmanship-related categories. This ensures that while craftsmanship is paramount, a strong stage presence is also recognized.

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Competition Process

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Pre-event

You will receive a confirmation email once we have your application.

Acceptance

Acceptance emails will go out from September 4 – September 20, 2024.

During the event

COMPETITION TIERS

Youth
Tier

Prizes

Prizes and recognition for all competitors!

Details

We are only accepting walkup submissions for the youth category.

If you have previously won the Youth category, please apply for the Novice tier.

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Novice
Tier

Details

For cosplayers who have not won any cosplay competition before (barring those who have won in the Youth Category at a previous DreamHack festival).

Judge’s awards do not count towards competition wins

You are eligible if you do not have a crafting education (sewing, welding/3D-printing, etc).

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Costume

The costume must be self-made but may use modified/changed garments.

All costumes must be at least 60% self crafted. (Assistance from a friend is fine, but commissions and purchased pieces must be 40% or less of the costume). Altering/thrifting/updating purchased pieces is allowed as long as the changes are significant (at the judges discretion)

ARTISAN
Tier

Details

Contestants who have placed in at least 1 (up to 3) cosplay competitions before. 

Judge’s awards do not count towards competition wins

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Costume

Expert
Tier

Details

Has placed top 5 in at least 4 competitions

Judge’s awards do not count towards competition wins

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Costume

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Tier / Category

Rules & Rubric

  1. Contestants must be at both pre-judging and the stage show to be eligible to compete.
  2. All cosplays will be judged based on the rubric shown below 
    1. A valid convention badge is required to compete (If accepted before September 20th, 2024, you will be signed up using your First Name, Last Name, and email for a 3-Day badge after accepting a competition spot). 
  3. Content should not go beyond PG-13, as the con is family-friendly: Offensive language of any kind is not allowed—no racial or sexual epithets; no profanity, etc. No excessive violence. No sexual activity or contact—real or implied.
  4. All costumes must be at least 60% self crafted unless competing in the Expert Category. If chosen to compete in the Expert Category, your build must be at least 80% self crafted. Altering/thrifting/updating purchased pieces is allowed as long as the changes are significant (at the judges discretion)
    1. For Fabrication elements assembled by non-sewing methods such as foam-smithing, 3D printed, pepakura, sculpting or vacuum forming etc purchased patterns count towards your non self-made percentages. Items produced from these patterns will be judged on modifications to base files, construction, finishes, painting, etc. All modifications to patterns must be documented to count towards your self-made percentages during judging.
  5. All WIP images must be sent to the Contest Organizers by September 27th, 2024 at the latest.  
  6. Judges reserve the right to change your competition tier at any point
  7. Cosplays you are applying with MAY NOT have won a competition previous to Friday, October 4th, 2024.
    1. Judge’s choice awards do not count towards competition wins.
  8. “Dabbing”, drug references, etc are not allowed.
  9. All cosplays and props must be self-contained, including no fire, flame, smoke, fog, dry ice, wind machines, lasers, pressurized gasses or liquids, messy substances—wet, dry, or oily, including glitter, flower petals, etc. in the green room or on stage.
  10. No jumping on or off stage—please use the designated stage entrances and exits.
  11. No Stage fighting (one foot must remain on the stage at all times and any mock fighting must be done at a distance and at half speed – no physical contact)
  12. Contestants may not use stage time to make political, religious, insulting, or other demonstrations not related to their entry.
  13. Sportsmanship is important. Any bullying will not be tolerated and result in disqualification and/or removal from the festival.
  14. Any violation of these rules will result in immediate disqualification. 
  1. (10 pts max) Overall cosplay execution and creativity.
  2. (9-10) – Clean stitching, use of highlighting and shadows, clean wig styling, smooth armor edges, finishing techniques etc.
  3. (7-8) – Most details are clean and finished, one technique/element less polished.
  4. (5-6) – Details are present, but finishing touches are missing. Seams may be unfinished, rough armor edges, no shadows/highlights etc.
  5. (3-4) – Minimal details, techniques are mostly poorly executed, cosplay not entirely finished.
  6. (0-2) – No details, techniques are poorly executed, cosplay is unfinished.
  1. (10 pts max) – Level of complexity of the cosplay selected. Variety of techniques used. Purchased items only count against you if no transformation has been done.
  2. (9-10) – Cosplay uses 3 or more main materials, 3 or more techniques used AND less than 10% purchased.
  3. (7-8) – Cosplay uses 2-3 main materials, and 2-3 different techniques AND less than 20% purchased.
  4. (6-5) – Cosplay uses 1-2 materials and 1-2 different techniques OR 30-40% purchased.
  5. (3-4) – Cosplay sticks to a couple basic techniques OR 40 – 50% purchased.
  6. (0-2) – Cosplay relies on a single technique OR more than 50% is purchased.
  1. (10 pts max) – Overall impact of the costume.
  2. (9-10) – The resemblance is really there in terms of the material. Cosplayers have been sure to adapt the cosplay a lot to themselves so that the proportions are correct.
  3. (7-8) –You can clearly see the character, details are mostly there adapted a lot of the proportions to themselves, or use of materials helps to get closer to the reference.
  4. (5-6) – You can see a resemblance, but missing that little extra.
  5. (3-4) – Minimal effort have been done to follow the reference material. The resemblance can be seen but a lot of the details just are not there.
  6. (0-2) – Poor resemblance and straying a lot from the source material and references.
  1. (10 pts max) – How well is the costume and character represented on stage.
  2. (9-10) – Cosplayer is confident on stage and can act out different character poses with the energy of the character. Sells the character on stage. No issues with the costume on stage.
  3. (7-8) – Cosplayer is confident on stage as the character, showing off the costume and poses like the character.
  4. (5-6) – Cosplayer knows a few typical character poses, but is not confident on stage, Costume moves like expected during movement on stage
  5. (3-4) – Cosplayer has minimal stage presence, maybe has one typical character pose, clear flaws in the costume shows during movement on stage.
  6. (0-2) – Cosplayer had minimal stage presence or costume falls apart during movement on stage.

Tier Prize Pools

(subject to change)

1st – $1000, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included). 

2nd – $500, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

3rd – $300, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

1st – $500, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

2nd – $200, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

3rd – $100, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

1st – $300, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

2nd – $100, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

3rd – $50, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

1st – $75, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included), and permission to compete in Novice at the next North American DreamHack festival that you compete in.

2nd – $50, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included).

3rd – $25, Award, 2x Regular 3-day Badges to a DreamHack event of your choosing (travel not included)

Each judge will have the opportunity to highlight a contestant of their choice separate from our craftsmanship awards. This is reserved for contestants who have not received recognition within the category awards.