The seventh EuroCosplay final at MCM London Comic Con saw Germia from Czech Republic crowned the EuroCosplay 2016 champion, cosplaying as Pharah (Anubis skin) from Overwatch. In second place was Gouky from Germany, cosplaying as Count von Krolock from Dance of the Vampires, and in third place was Alex Reiss from Russia cosplaying as Blood Moon Kalista from League of Legends.
Hosted by Joe ‘Granny Gertrude’ Sutton on the Pop Asia stage, also attending the panel were the judges award winners, Mysterious Maemi from Belgium, who cosplayed Cruella De Vil from 102 Dalmatians, and Talon from Poland, who cosplayed Fallen Knight from Dark Souls 3.
When asked why she was drawn to cosplaying Cruella, Maemi said that there were many reasons. “I’m a huge Disney fan, and when I saw the movie, and the performance of Glenn Close, I was just so much into that. Then in 102 Dalmatians, I saw that costume and I was like, ‘Wow, I really want to do that one!’” She also said that the performance had been there for years. “I just needed a good excuse to make the costume because I really loved doing that performance.”
“I always do the comic performances,” said Talon about falling and rolling on the stage during his performance. “I really like them. All of the people can enjoy them, and nobody needs to know the series.”
“Russia is mostly famous for its fabric craftsmanship,” said Alex. “Last year our participant had the Sakizo costume,” she said, highlighting last year’s winner MrGnob, who cosplayed as Rococo Princess. “She [set] a very high standard. I mostly enjoy making armour costumes. I specialise in working with PVC plastic. When I made this costume, I used all kinds of techniques from primitive paper mache to 3D printing.” Asked if her win would inspire other Russian cosplayers to look into creating more armour based cosplay, Alex responded that it would be good, but all techniques are unique. “Each work is unique and all of them are fabulous,” she said.
This was the first time Germany had placed in the top three. “It was a dream cosplay of mine” said Gouky of Count von Krolock. “I’d been wanting to do it for years. I was way too scared to pull it off. That was the most exciting chance to really do it.” Noting that she’s often known for comedic performances, she said that she wanted to do something different that would make people cry. When asked if her placing second had fully sunk in, Gouky said, “No. I guess it will feel real when I have to pay the price for the luggage.”
This was also the first time the Czech Republic had placed, being crowned the EuroCosplay champion. Asked about how it felt, Germia said, “It’s kind of rewarding, not only for me, but for my country too.” She also hoped her win would motivate a lot of Czech cosplayers “to be better and better.”
Joe highlighted that there were a lot of tricks to Germia’s cosplay of Pharah and wanted to know if there was anything people might not have easily spotted. She mentioned that her rocket launcher was made out of a plumbing tube and actually shoots, as she demonstrated by firing a rocket into the audience. She also incorporated Pharah’s wrist rocket, which also fires. Germia revealed that her armour has hidden rockets, as she lifted the armour covering her thigh showing some rocket pellets. And there was of course the moveable wings. “If you look from the side, you can see a part of the drill construction…I bought an old drill and I thought of a construction that moves on the screw, up and down. It’s kind of easier to make.”
When Germia was asked if her decision to cosplay Pharah was because she liked the character, or because she thought it would be an interesting challenge, she replied, “It’s more reasons. I haven’t seen a lot of Pharah’s that look like Pharah. So I wanted to be the real Pharah. I also wanted to make something impressive. The dark colour is really challenging to paint, because you cannot shade dark colour, you have to shade a little different, into silver shades, to make it interesting. Also I wanted to make an armoured cosplay. Everyone knows in EuroCosplay, there is much more sewing cosplays winning than armoured cosplays and I wanted to break that rule. I’m so, so glad I managed to break this.” She also added that “Pharah is so cool in the game and I love to play her.”
Asked how they found their EuroCosplay experience, Maemi replied, “Every time that I experience the EuroCosplay, it’s just so amazing, it keeps being amazing. It’s just so amazing to experience it all again with a lot of different countries and a lot of people that are passionate on the same level as me.”
Talon shared the same sentiments, saying, “It’s just amazing. I don’t have the words for that!”
When asked if there was any particular experience she would take back to Germany, Gouky said, “The food party on Friday! It was so, so good! I don’t know who brought the cheese, I want that cheese!”
Alex revealed that being a part of EuroCosplay wasn’t just her first time in the UK, but her first trip abroad. “It’s the first time I take my cosplay to some foreign event,” she said. She also mentioned how she was nervous about bringing her cosplay to London, following the experience of travelling with her cosplay by plane during the qualifying round in Kaliningrad. “Some of the armour was heavily damaged and I had to replace it afterwards. I tried to pack it better for London, but our airline is I think a little messed up.” Of the experience overall, she said it was “totally worth it. I’m so happy to meet everyone, to see the friendliness, the support of the other participants. I’m already planning when I can come back again.”
Joe concluded that it’s not unusual for EuroCosplay winners to be asked to judge cosplay contests, and asked Germia whether that’s something she would like to do. “I’ve already judged some contests, but only locally in my country.” She then spoke of the EuroCosplay championship, saying, “I would like to judge this contest. So many costumes were so high on the level of cosplaying. I said to myself, ‘Oh, there’s no way I could win’, because these costumes were just amazing.”
Of her experience, Germia said, “The big dream for me was winning the qualification in my country. I never hoped I could win anything here. So it is just really a big dream coming true.”
By Shalimar Sahota.
Thank you to James Reid at the Pop Asia Stage.