Cosplay Competition - rules

Terms of service

DreamHack Hannover Cosplay Championship

The competition will take place on a main stage and includes a cosplay catwalk show with a pre-judging session for the participants early on the competition day. One cosplayer on stage at a time, with a time frame of about 30-60 seconds to showcase their cosplay and pose for pictures. 

We will present all the participants to music that we select, and showcase the wonderful skill and costumes portrayed in bridging the characters to life. After all participants have been showcased we will invite all the participants on stage again and finally the judges will announce the winners on stage!

Prize pool:  5.000 €

Application Ends: 19. November 2023

Date: TBA


Our DreamHack Hannover Jury team will rate costume, applied techniques and stage performance.

There will be a pre-judging session before the event where the judges we choose can come and check out the costumes of the participants one by one where our judges will go over the reference images and ask participants about their techniques used, and see the costume up close.

For the special categories the following criteria are going to apply: 

IRL COSPLAY: Only the stage show is rated.

BEST PROP: For this category, a single accessory from an overall cosplay is chosen based on design and technical realisation.

THE NEWCOMER: The winner will be chosen from the participants, who take part in a contest for the first time. All prior mentioned criteria will apply. 

JUDGE FAVORIT: This category has no specific winning criteria and is awarded according to the jury’s personal preference

Costuming & Cosplay Rules

We have a general set of cosplay rules that ensure that we are all working to showcase the kind of cosplayer that makes their own costumes, and wants to show the world what they got! Due to restrictions we ask that you check out all the rules below, and if you have any questions please contact us:

  • Costumes should be made solely by the contestants. Pre-fabricated parts can be used but original work is prefered and will be favored by the judges. We do allow for some help from friends and family, but we expect the extent of the work to be done on the costume to be at least 80% the cosplayers own work. If in doubt, please contact us. 
  • Costumes are subject to approval via the cosplay team, and will send out notifications of that after receiving your sign up form! 
  • Costume must be based on a computer game, video game, anime, manga, comic books and entertainment franchises. Original designs are unfortunately not eligible for competition category consideration at this time.  The design must be based on an officially published work.
  • You must be able to carry, and have all your props with you on stage, and take them down with you during the show. 
  • We allow cosplays from all media, video games, role-playing games, comic books, manga, anime, TV or film adaptations, Fan-art, etc. We also allow for gender bends, gijinkas, and original characters (e.g. DnD characters, or your character from a game). Important to note that you still need to bring reference materials for your design.

Catwalk rules

The competition will be a catwalk show showing off your most awesome creation.

  • The time you have on stage is approximately 30-60 seconds, or less if you prefer. 
  • The catwalk impact will also weigh into the assessment of your cosplay so remember to be in character!
  • The pre-judging order you have will be your allocated stage time order, if you wish to go up with a specific set of characters, please make the team aware when arriving at  the venue.

Weapon Rules

We want everyone to stay safe, and we have seen amazing cosplays with amazing weapons at various DreamHacks for all our years. To ensure the safety of all guests we ask that you follow our weapon rules to ensure the safety of all our participants! Please notify the cosplay organizer if any such weapons as listed below will be included in your costume.

  • If it is illegal outside the DreamHack, it is illegal inside DreamHack. There are considerations to be made, so make sure that you ensure the safety of everyone by following German weapon regulations at all times. 
  • Costume cannot, or otherwise utilize, any sharp edged weapons or any type of projectile weapon regardless of whether it is unloaded or nonfunctional. 
  • Any realistic looking guns are not allowed in the festival area.
  • Do not point or threaten weapons at guests that have not given their consent. Never throw” your weapon.
  • The security and/or the cosplay team may remove your weapon from the event if you do not follow the rules.
  • There is an official weapons checkpoint at the entrance of DreamHack Hannover that you must use if you wish to mark your weapon as safe, otherwise it is subject to be taken away until the end of your event if deemed dangerous by staff, and security!

Please also check our general Conditions of Participation for more detailed information.

House Rules

  • DreamHack has zero tolerance regarding; demeaning language, threats, hate crimes as well as statements that threatens or expresses contempt of ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • No symbols of provocative theme or racism is allowed.
  • Sound, Lights and stage props will all be pre-prepared. Contestants can not in any way affect the DreamHack mainstage setup. Settings will not be individually adapted but adapted for the show and competition in its entirety.
  • The Cosplay Competition may be streamed live and recorded and published as a VOD. By signing up to the DreamHack Cosplay Competition all contestants agree to be photographed, filmed and take part of a live stream on or a media partner connected to DreamHack.