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Register Now for the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition 2021

Our virtual contest will be part of Cosplay Day on Saturday 10 July!

Calley Macleod on stage at MCM London Comic Con
Calley Macleod on stage at MCM London Comic Con
We are back with the 2021 edition of the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition! This celebration of cosplay craftsmanship is open to cosplayers everywhere and of all skill levels. Take to the virtual stage and show off your lockdown builds!

This year's edition will be broadcast as part of Cosplay Day on Saturday 10 July on our YouTube Channel and we are thrilled to welcome Alyson Tabbitha and Xephyr Studios to our panel of judges. We'll have one more judge to announce soon! You can find out more about everything happening on Cosplay Day here

Registration is open now and will close on 4 June 2021. Read on for more information and the rules:

How the Competition Works

  • The competition is open to cosplayers of all skill levels and types. We will ask you to tell us a little bit about your level of cosplay experience on your application form so we can pick out some beginner entries to highlight. You will also be asked to indicate which category best fits your costume but this is not binding.
  • Applications will be open to be received from 7 May 2021 until 4 June 2021 or in the case of high registration numbers until all places become filled.
  • The following information will need to be provided at registration via our online form:
    • Contact information, public profile information and information about the cosplay
    • 1 to 2 reference images of character (ideally front and back)
    • 2 to 4 photographs of the completed costume and props (should have minimal editing to be truthful. Should show front, back and extra details)
    • Short script to tell the audience detail about how it was made and hidden features
  • When your place in the competition is confirmed, the following information will need to be submitted by 17:00 EST/22:00 BST, Tuesday 15 June 2021 (instructions of how to submit this information will be given in the acceptance email):
    • Progress book/Work in progress pictures as PDF (max 5 pages, could include additional detail references if needed)
    • Video presentation (max 5 mins) taking judges through elements of the cosplay, construction and details difficult to see in photography.
    • A good quality photograph of you wearing the costume to be used in the competition showcase and galleries
    • Video of the costume being worn (30s - 1 min.) suitable for use in the competition showcase. This should be high quality, in landscape orientation and recorded in a well-lit space with clear background or minimal background distractions. Please note that the judges will also assess this in advance of the broadcast as part of your judging material.
  • Our panel of judges will assess all the submissions in advance of the broadcast
  • We will create a virtual showcase from the supplied materials which will be broadcast on July 10th as part of Cosplay Day
  • As with the previous CCVC events, the showcase will focus on the top entry videos but we will feature all entries in some way during the program (at minimum this will be inclusion in a photo slideshow and inclusion in a Cosplay Central gallery following the event)
  • The winners will be announced at the end of the broadcast

Any Questions? Please contact mcmcosplay@reedpop.com

The Prizes

We will have prizes for the winners of the following titles:

  • Best in show
  • 3 x Runners Up, including 1 notable sewing and 1 notable armour entry
  • Best Beginner

More information coming soon!

How to Enter

To apply for entry into the competition, please fill out the entry form linked below by 4:59 PM EDT/9:59 PM BST 4 June 2021. The team will email you to notify you of your application status within 5 working days.

CLICK HERE for the entry form


Does entering this virtual competition prevent me from entering the same costume at a ReedPop show?
Due to the vast difference between entering and being judged virtually and the same experience at a physical show, participation in the CCVC will not prevent you from entering the same costume into cosplay competitions at ReedPop shows in the UK and US when they return.

What are the rules?
All participants in the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition must adhere to the official rules found here.

How much of the cosplay has to be made by me?
At least 70% of your cosplay should be your own work, this allows for supporting items like basic suits for under armour or smaller items like shoes and basic wigs. Heavy alterations to pre-made garments and items are allowed (beyond simple weathering), but you must be able to explain in detail the processes of how you crafted and altered each aspect of your cosplay.

I have a combination of techniques in my costume, which category do I choose?
If in doubt pick which you think has the most evident or advanced skills- for example if it is a ballgown with a few armour pieces it would probably be best in needlework. If it is a suit of armour with a large number of LEDs and illuminated prop, you probably want to pick FX. Dont worry about getting it wrong, this is just a guide to help us organise entries and is not binding. All entries will be assessed using the same criteria.

I am not from the US or UK. Can I still join?
Yes you can, but prizes may be provided from a UK or US supplier.

I want to cosplay an original character, is this allowed?
Your cosplay must represent an existing and recognizable character or element from within pop culture. This includes comic books, movies & television, video games, anime & manga, fantasy, etc. and a reference image will be requested during registration.

When and where will the competition be livestreamed?
The competiton will be broadcast on July 10th as part of Cosplay Day on our YouTube Channel

Do I need video shots of my cosplay or can it just be photos?
For registration, you will need to supply back and front photos of your costume. If you have been selected to compete, we will then ask for video of your costume for pre-judging and the showcase. Details and deadlines to complete this will be communicated to you via email.

If I don’t make the top entries, why do I still have to send the broadcast video?
If you saw either of the first 2 editions of our Virtual Competition you will have seen we could only feature the top cosplayer’s videos with comments from the judges due to time constraints. All of the video material you submit is viewed by the judges and if everyone gives the same information every entry is given equal opportunity to present their work to the judges, just like at a real event. By sending the broadcast video at the same time as the other material the judges can assess the quality of movement of your costume, and it gives you more flexibility in your judging presentation video.

Can a group cosplay enter? (2+ more people)
Sorry, folks. Group costumes are not allowed for this competition.

Will there be prejudging?
Yes, if selected for the competition we will ask you to send a video presentation about your cosplay for the judges and they will look at this, and all the other information you send, before the event.

What is the judging criteria?
The Judges will be looking at accuracy to your reference or your design interpretation (for original designs based on existing pop culture characters), the ambition of the whole cosplay, the quality of construction, the application of materials and quality of movement. The judges can also reward costumes that go the extra mile with additional features or resourcefulness.

Who are the judges?
We are thrilled to welcome Alyson Tabbitha and Xephyr Studios to our panel of judges. We'll have one more judge to announce soon!

Can children enter?
Kids are welcome to watch the family-friendly showcase broadcast, but they will not be allowed to enter into this virtual competition. All contestants must be at least 16 years old.

The Rules

Participants in the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition must adhere to the following:

  • All entrants must be 16 or older to compete in the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition.
  • Costumes must represent an existing or recognisable character or element from the pop culture realm, including comic books, movies & television, video games, musicals, literature, anime & manga or fantasy.
  • All costumes must be made by the wearer. A portion of the costume (such as leotard or similar base layers, tights and shoes) may be from purchased, finished goods, but the majority of the visible costume elements should have been constructed by the entrant: at least 70% should be their own work. Any customisation, for example transforming wigs, should be the work of the entrant in order to be judged. If contestants have made heavy alterations to a store-bought garment and wish to enter it into the Competition, they must be able to explain how they have altered it and the processes that such an endeavour entailed.
  • Pre-fabricated, store-bought costumes, commissioned costumes or unaltered, store-bought assemblies of clothing to represent a character or “costume” cannot be used in the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition.
  • Costumes previously entered into the Cosplay Central Virtual Competition are not eligible. Costumes that have entered qualifiers for other competitions but not been selected as finalists may enter. The costume cannot have been a winning costume and been awarded a prize at any event, competition or masquerade. Costumes that have been used for the final of an international cosplay competition are not eligible even if they were not awarded a prize
  • Entrants must not register multiple times with multiple costumes. A contestant can only enter once and only wear one costume.
  • Group costumes are not allowed.
  • Cosplayers are free to select the category which they submit to but the ReedPop team reserve the right to reclassify entries at their discretion, to ensure a balanced contest.
  • Failure to provide the requested materials by the deadline of 17:00 EST/22:00 BST, Tuesday 15 June 2021 , will result in the entrant’s disqualification.
  • Costumes cannot promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous or any particular political agenda or message.
  • No nudity. All costumes should provide enough coverage to be worn in public and should be in good taste and appropriate for a family-friendly show.
  • Gore, graphic violence or other objectionable elements may be grounds for disqualification
  • Costumes cannot be obscene or offensive or endorse any form of hate or hate group.
  • Costumes must not defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about ReedPop and their products, or other people, products or companies
  • Costumes cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill with which ReedPop intends to associate the Competition; and costumes cannot be in violation of any English, US Federal or State or other applicable law.
  • Release: By accepting a prize, each winner agrees to release and hold harmless ReedPop and its direct and indirect subsidiaries, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers (if any), and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize
  • ReedPop reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud or technical failures or any other factor beyond reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by ReedPop in its sole discretion. ReedPop reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the contest or to be acting in violation of the Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, ReedPop reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. ReedPop’s failure to enforce any term of these Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
  • Limitation of Liability: ReedPop is not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, typographical errors, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in the Contest; (2) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorised human intervention in any part of the entry process; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the contest or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from an entrant’s participation in the contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize (provided always that ReedPop or its employees or contractors are not negligent in any way in relation to such injury or damage). If, for any reason, an entrant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, that entrant’s sole remedy is another entry in the contest, if feasible. If the contest, or any part of it, is discontinued for any reason, ReedPop, in its sole discretion, may elect to hold a random draw from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for the prize(s) offered herein.
  • Employees, staff, crew or guests of ReedPop, Reed Exhibitions Limited or any group or associated company of Reed Exhibitions Limited and/or any of their immediate families, and persons connected with the Competition, e.g. prize sponsors or judges and their agents are not eligible to enter the Competition
  • In the event of any dispute arising, these Rules are to be interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.

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About the Author
Emma Farnworth avatar

Emma Farnworth


Emma is Cosplay Coordinator for MCM Comic Con and ReedPop. A cosplayer since 2009 with a passion for craft, when not running masquerades she can also be found making jewellery, playing Animal Crossing, or indulging her passion for Japanese kimono.