Cosplay Contest

The Cosplay Contest is a competitive event that brings local and out of state fans and cosplayers to compete in costumed skits. Skits range from comedy to dramatic fighting scenes and are presented to the audience and judges.

Cosplay Contest Applications Now Closed

It is our recommendation that you pre-register regardless if you are not 100% sure you will compete. That way you can ensure your slot in the competition and you will not have to worry the day of the event. Please extend the courtesy to let the coordinator know that you will not be competing if you drop out.

Rules and Regulations

Updated- 12/28/21

General Rules and Regulations

LVL UP EXPO 2022 General Rules and Guidelines must be followed at all times, any breach of the following may result in disqualification: 

We will cap the groups at 50 entries. 40 entries will be available for pre-registration and after we hit 40, the remaining 10 will be available for at-convention signups. All entries must purchase badges to LVL UP EXPO.

Craftsmanship judging times will be done on Sunday with the Masquerade taking place Sunday late afternoon in the Main Events Room.

As far as JUDGING TIME (This is not TIME YOU HAVE ON STAGE), Individuals will receive 5 minutes, groups will receive 10 minutes.

Any contestant under 18 years of age at the time of the Masquerade, must have their parent or legal guardians sign the appropriate section of the General Release & Waiver Form.

There are four levels: Novice/Journeyman/Craftsman/Youth. Novice is 0-3 Major Awards, Journeyman is 4-6, and Craftsman is 7 and up.

Youth Awards are for those 12 and younger.

Competing “down” (A Craftsman entering as Journeyman for an easier win) is discouraged and will lead to disqualification.

The “strongest” member of the group will have the group entered as that level (One craftsman, two Journeyman, one novice entering will result in the group entering as Craftsman.)

There is a required meeting Sunday morning (Time TBA) for at least one person from each entry to go over stage movement, basic rules, and iron out any details such as music submission not already done online as well as ask questions.

Skit time limits are as follows: Groups are given 3 minutes, walk-ons are sixty seconds. Time will be given for set-up. Going over time will have you disqualified from receiving major awards. IF you send music please give a few days for the coordinator to review the music and get back to you. Time limit is STRONGLY ENFORCED.

All music is accepted in mp3 audio form. If necessary, we can accept CDs, although mp3 format e-mailed after receiving confirmation is strongly preferred. After your entry is accepted and you have Received an acceptance email then you may email your music in as well. We strongly prefer you have an mp3 file emailed as well as a back-up on on a memory stick at convention.

All skits must be PG and tasteful. No shocking, vulgar, or outright offensive performances. There are children in the audience – please keep that in mind. If you are unsure if your skit is acceptable, please ask the coordinator.

Everything you bring on stage must be taken with you. No confetti, fire/explosives, or jumping off the stage, coming out into the audience, etc. This is a platform stage, not a theater. If you have any questions over staging, please ask the coordinator. If you have any surprises, ask the coordinator. If you plan on doing any martial arts, gymnastics, hard falls – please consider this is a small platform stage and if it is deemed too risky, that the coordinator may ask you to tone down your skit.

Masks while Performing
Pursuant to Nevada’s COVID-19 Guidance and Directives 045 and 047, vocal performers during performances when a face covering cannot be worn due to the nature of the performance shall be exempt from wearing a face covering while on stage. “Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations. Vocal performers include singers, comedians, magicians, open-mic and karaoke performers, etc.” If wearing a face covering inhibits your performance, you may remove it while on stage or we will have complimentary face shields available to use instead.



Q: What awards are there?

A:Honorable Mentions, Judges Awards, 1st/2nd/3rd for Each Division: Novice/Journeyman/Craftsman, Best of Show, and a youth if applicable.

Please note that awards may be toggled depending on turnout.

Q: What should I bring to judging? What’s going to happen?

A: You will go into a quiet room with three judges who are all accustomed to not only competing, but have judged as well. You will explain to them how you made your costume with any photos of reference and/or the building process. Focus on the details and try to be thorough but efficient.

Q: What are the judges looking for?

A: Originality, cleanliness, and thinking outside the box. A clean, well-made costume will always trump a flashy costume with unfinished edges, sloppy paint, etc.

Q: What if I’m running late for my judging appointment?

A: We will do our best to accommodate. The judges have all competed and understand issues and stress to meet deadlines. Please feel free to email if you are concerned and we will do our best to work with you.

Q: If I have questions about judging or how awards went?

A: There is a Q&A/feedback panel on Sunday to voice your concerns to the judges. We are always open to comments and criticisms. At this time you can give your feedback as well as receive feedback on your costume, if you wish.

Q: Are there prizes?

A: Yes. Trophies, Cash, and other prizes!

Q: What Happens after I send in my Cosplay Registration? 

A: After a few days you will get a confirmation that you are in the contest as well as a time for judging and a request for music.  After you have sent in your music and received a confirmation that your music was tested and received, you will not hear anything until a few days before the event itself with a full schedule of judging, where to go for the contest as well as confirmation that you will still be in the competition.

Q: Can I compete with a comic book series? League of Legends? Game of Thrones?

A: Yes! All series are open as long as there is something to compare the sewing work to – you must have a reference for us to judge you against as accuracy is a huge factor in your overall score.

Please note: The Judges and Coordinator’s decisions are all final. Our goal is to have a fair and enjoyable experience for all to enjoy.

Notes to Consider

Presentation and Craftsmanship combine for the overall decision on the awards.

Originality and unique concepts are something looked upon favorably by judges in both skit execution, choice of series, and costume work.

Costume documentation, from original notes to the building process is valued. The judges are all designers and builders and enjoy the entire creative process.

Clean and simple construction will always trump a busy, sloppy costume. It is more difficult to construct a proper-fitting costumes with fewer details to hide stitchwork and fitting behind than to construct an over-the-top costume that hides construction.

That said, if you have a stellar costume with details and stitching that deserves some notice that isn’t necessarily noticeable, please photo and document! Judges love details!


Best in Show: $1000

Best Youth: $100


1st Place: $300

2nd Place: $200

3rd Place: $100


1st Place: $300

2nd Place: $200

3rd Place: $100


1st Place: $300

2nd Place: $200

3rd Place: $100

Costume Rules

Costumes must be built by or at least 75% modified by the wearer or designer. No commissioned costumes unless the creator of said costume is entering in the entry.

Any costumes that have won Best in Show or a major craftsmanship award are prohibited unless extensive changes have been made to the costumes with proper documentation.

No live steel or weapons. If you are unsure if a prop is acceptable for the masquerade, please ask security or the coordinator. In order to win a Craftsmanship award or Best in Show, you must attend craftsmanship judging.

Original or alternative take on designs (for example: Halloween Town Riku or Steampunk Link) are acceptable, but must have strong or obvious references from the series with documentation to back up.

At convention signups will be available Friday afternoon and if slots are available, Saturday morning as well.

Costume references are strongly preferred as it helps showcase the details and work that you have put into your costume in your pursuit for accuracy.

Lying or falsification of costume work will have you banned from the competition and all future Lvl Up Masquerades.

Breaking of rules may have your entry or awards withheld for the current or following year.

There is no recording of judging or feedback without the written consent of the judges.  

The coordinator’s word is final as is all decisions of the judges. All awards are presented following the Masquerade.