C2E2 Cosplay Masquerade

This event was unique to C2E2 2020, and we’re going to bring back other amazing events in C2E2 2021 and beyond! Stay tuned to our newsletter to be the first to know when we announce them.

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Come strut your stuff at the C2E2 Cosplay Masquerade! New to C2E2 this year, the Cosplay Masquerade is where costuming and cosplay go to the next level. This competition combines performance and presentation - it’s the place where you can show off not just your best costume, but your most impressive stage performance as well! Over $1500 in cash and prizes will be awarded, with a $500 prize for Best in Show and tickets to next year’s C2E2.

  • cosplay masquerade
  • cosplay masquerade

Scroll down to read information, rules, and regulations and how to enter.

How to Participate

Participants will be able to sign up for the Masquerade at the Costumers With a Cause booth, #393, located in Cosplay Central starting the morning of Sunday March 1 when the convention opens at 10 AM. Entries will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Contestants must fill out and return the entry form to the registration table. You will be given a contestant number and further information at the booth.

Participants must check in to Room S504 on Sunday by 2:30 PM.

If you have any questions leading up to the show, please e-mail us at C2E2panels@reedexpo.com!

Costume & Performance Competition Rules

1. One entry per person. No separate entries from the same person. If you enter as part of a group, you may not enter as an individual. If you enter as an individual, you may not enter as part of a group. Groups are limited to a maximum of 12 individuals on stage at the same time.

2. The competition is limited to up to 60 entries, pending length of performance time needed, with no exceptions. If you wish to compete, you must register at the Costumers With a Cause booth (#393) located in Cosplay Central. Once the roster of 60 entries is filled, additional entrants will be offered will call slots in the event of a no show, on a first come, first serve basis. All attendees MUST check in to room S504D by Sunday at 2:30 PM or you will lose your spot, which will be given to one of the will call entries. There are NO exceptions to this rule.

3. Participants from the ages of 13 and up are permitted to take part in the Cosplay Masquerade. Participants under the age of 18 must be registered by a parent or guardian.

4. There is a performance time limit of 90 seconds for individuals and 3 minutes for groups.

5. When you check in at the Costumers With a Cause booth, located at Booth #393 in Cosplay Central, the staff at the table will log you in as an entrant, read your form, and help you (if necessary) in composing the best announcement for your entrance. They will also need any audio on a flash drive that you wish to use in your performance at that time. There is no pre-judging. You will be given instructions on where to meet for roll call at the registration desk.

6. NO microphones may be used by the contestants. All vocals and music must be pre-recorded on a flash drive or storage device with the exception of a written emcee introduction. Contestants need to be aware that anything spoken onstage, without amplification, cannot be heard in the room, or even at the judges’ table located directly in front of the stage. To have music or dialog accompany your presentation, you must pre-record it on a flash drive and you MUST bring the flash drive when you register so that the track can be reviewed and loaded into our system. On your tech sheet, you will indicate when the track is to be played during your performance. Untested, unapproved, new, or changed music will not be accepted after registration has closed. We can use any music, dialogue, etc. that you wish, as long as there is no profanity.

7. If you have won an award at another major convention prior to 2019 with the same performance / costume(s), you will be disqualified. Those participating in the 2020 Championships of Cosplay at C2E2 are eligible to participate.

8. No Nudity. This is a family show and will contain young contestants. All costumes/skits must be PG-13, PG, or G.

9. No harmful or potentially harmful materials will be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: water, cigarettes, flames, fireworks, silly string, and any other substance that can be fired, launched, or dripped.

10. WEAPONS POLICY: You may pose with your weapon at the costume competition, however, please be mindful of your poses and proximity to others.

11. IMPRESS US! This is a competition based on performance and costume. The more the judges and audience are entertained and impressed, the greater chance you have to WIN!


* Best in Show: $500 & 2 badges to C2E2 2021

* Best Individual: $250

* Best Group: $250

* Best Junior (13-18 years old): $250

* 2nd place – $100

* 2nd place – Group: $100

* Judges’ Awards (4): Swag bag with C2E2 Merch

Contestants can enter as individuals or as a group and will be judged based on stage performance and costumes. Think of it as a costume talent show; more than just a cosplay contest, this is your chance to put on a performance as the character(s) you are portraying!

AWARDS: All awards, with the exception of the Judges’ Awards, will be chosen by majority vote of the Judging Committee. Judges’ Awards will be chosen by the individual judges.

Meet the Judges

Judge Buddy VBuddy V
Buddy V. is a theatrical costume, stage set, hair, and makeup artist. In the cosplay world he’s been using his skills and talents on his own costumes for 6 years. All of his cosplay is self-made, sewn, and fabricated. He’s often been referred to as the “Wing Master” as he’s best known for his dramatic wings. Everything he creates is done with a keen eye for design and detail with a constant drive for perfection, which directly results in his costuming awards and community accolades.

Judge Maggie HoffmanMaggie Hoffman
Maggie Hofmann (@PaisleyandGlue) is a professional Chicago-based theatrical costume maker by training who has worked at several large theaters in the Chicagoland area. She has been cosplaying for seven years and enjoys creating intricate, screen-accurate cosplays that put her garment-making skills to good use. She also volunteers with several local costuming charities, including Costumers With a Cause.

Judge Tiphani DixonTiphani Dixon
Tiphani Dixon aka Con is the younger half of the cosplaying duo Pros and Cons Cosplay. She is a multi-award winning cosplayer, judge, and contest director from Missouri. Con loves most elements of cosplay construction, but has a particular fondness for projects that involve weird construction that challenges the laws of physics. She also has a soft spot in her heart for wig styling. She is passionate about creating a more inclusive cosplay community through education, policy assessment, and advocacy for various marginalized communities.

Judge Monica PaprockiMonica Paprocki
Philippine-born, award-winning Chicago cosplayer - Monica Paprocki is also the founder and CEO of geek news website called GeeksAGogo.com. She was featured in the Chicago Tribune where she gave readers a behind-the-scenes look at preparing for and qualifying for 4 years in a row for the Crown Championship of Cosplay in C2E2. She was also featured in other publications such as Interview Magazine, Cosplay Culture Magazine, Homewood- Flossmoor Chronicle and many more. Her current cosplay creations highlighting the gaming and RPG industry include characters from Cool Mini or Not's game called Rising Sun, Raging Heroes, and the much awaited Frosthaven board game from Cephalofair Games.

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