Rules for contestants
To be eligible for the qualifiers:
- The contestant must have the citizenship of the country of the qualifier, or have a permanent residence for at least 2 years in the country of the qualifier.
- The contestant must be at least 18 years old.
To participate in the finals:
- The contestant becomes a finalist by winning one of the local qualifier competitions in that year.
- In the finals, the contestant must bring the same costume that they had in the qualifier. They are allowed (and encouraged) to make improvements, by adding props and similar to their costume.
Rules for costumes
- The contestant’s cosplay must be self-made with the exception of lenses, shoes, wigs and minor details (clasps, buttons, small jewelry and similar).
- If shoes and wigs are altered after purchase, the contestant must do it personally.
- The contestant is allowed to have help with making of the costume, but only if such help is limited, and the contestant did the majority of work on their own.
- The contestant must disclose to the judges if they had any help with the costume. This may affect their final score.
- Costumes must be based upon officially published fictional characters. No original cosplays or cosplays based on fan-arts are allowed.
- The contestant must state clearly which version of which character their costume is portraying and must present reference pictures.
- The audience might include under-aged viewers. Costumes and performances must be decent enough to be presentable in front of them.
- Contestants cannot reuse a costume in which they won a qualifier or the finals in previous years. They can reuse only those costumes in which they competed earlier but did not win.
General rules for judging
The rules for judging and scoring at qualifier events and the finals must follow the same standard.
- The competitors are judged by a jury of experienced individuals.
- The costume is judged behind the scenes, where the judges can inspect the costume in detail and ask questions about how the costume was made.
- The performance of the cosplayer will be judged based on their performance on stage.
- The jury has the right to exclude any contestants if they suspect that their costume (or major parts of it) was bought or commissioned.
Rules for scoring
Judges assign scores to each contestant based on the following categories:
- Performance on stage. It makes up 20% of the score.
- 0-2 poor performance
- 3 average performance
- 4 good performance
- 5 outstanding performance
- Resemblance: accuracy of impersonation. This includes makeup, wig-styling, acting in character, etc. It makes up 20% of the score.
- 0-2 poor resemblance
- 3 average resemblance
- 4 good resemblance
- 5 outstanding resemblance
- Prop: If the contestant has a prop, the prop quality makes up 20% of the score.
- 0-2 weak prop.
- 3 average prop, good in one aspect, but has weak points.
- 4 good prop (good crafting, special effects or design, but not perfect)
- 5 outstanding prop
- Costume: needlework and/or crafting and/or special effects as applicable. It makes up 40% of the score if the contestant has a prop, 60% if not.
- 0-2 weak costume
- 3-4 costume with some weak points
- 5-6 decent costume, but either not remarkable or has both strong and weak points.
- 7-8 impressive costume with only minor weak points.
- 9-10 outstanding costume, with many challenging parts and no weak points.
- Multiply these scores by x1.5 if the contestant has no prop.
The rules for stage performance do not have to be uniform among all qualifiers and finals. This allows the participating events to accommodate the competition to the specific technical or procedural limitations that apply in their local environment.
Stage rules for the 2019 finals
- The length of the stage performance must be at least 2 minutes, but no more than 3 minutes.
- The contestant must submit either a video or a picture with a music track. This will be displayed during their performance. There are certain technical requirements concerning these materials.
- Special effects must be discussed with the organizers in advance. Sharp blades are strongly discouraged and the organizers must be informed in advance.