The Pop Asia stage at MCM London Comic Con saw the third, second and overall champion of EuroCosplay attend the winner’s panel, hosted by MCM Community Manager and cosplay guru, Joe ‘Granny Gertrude’ Black.
In attendance was third-place finisher Paulches from Russia, who cosplayed Scott Ryder from Mass Effect Andromeda; runner-up LeelooKris Cosplay from France, who cosplayed Lagertha from Vikings; and the EuroCosplay winner Don Esteban from Austria, who cosplayed Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher 3.
The panel began with each of them being asked how long they had been cosplaying for and what made them choose the costumes they decided to compete with in the final.
Paulches revealed that they had only been cosplaying for two years, but had been wielding props for ten years, transitioning from medieval reconstruction to cosplay. As for choosing Scott Ryder, he said, “[I] wanted to try my abilities to craft in a different universe.” He also added that he was a big fan of Mass Effect and liked the details and design of Scott.
LeelooKris said that they had been cosplaying for four years, and choose Lagertha because she’s a very big fan of Vikings. “I love Lagertha because she’s a warrior, she’s very strong, like me. I chose this cosplay because of the challenge too, because it was my first time [using] real leather.” She also added that it was important for her to use real materials and real fabric, just like the Vikings.
Don Esteban said that he had been cosplaying for five years and is a huge fan of The Witcher. “I always wanted to be Geralt,” he said. “I saw the concept art, bear armour with fur. Everything looked so badass. I wanted to do this cosplay, I wanted to start and then I was like, ‘I have no clue how to do this. This is way, way above my skills.’” Don revealed that it took him about three years making different cosplays to learn all the techniques required Geralt.
It was also raised that Don was actually injured, having dislocated his left knee, but he still managed to make it to London and incorporated his injury into his cosplay and his performance. “It was a close call,” said Don. “Two weeks ago I went to the doctor with the X-ray; it was like, ‘Do I have to do surgery and get a cast?’ Because then I would have to quit EuroCosplay, but it’s okay.”
The three were asked what they were particularly proud of with the cosplays and what the audience should look out for when looking at photos.
LeelooKirs highlighted all the leather parts, because, “there is a lot of work on it and a lot of details. Especially the belt and the shield.”
Don mentioned how in the game all the armour sets are upgradeable. “I used this as a reference,” he said. “I started with the lower tier and upgraded to the bigger tier. So if you see me in cosplay, just come up close and you can see the details on the upgrades.”
Paulches mentioned that he was really proud of having made his cosplay out of aluminium and that putting the cosplay on is just like an in-game character putting their armour on. Don also asked Paulches how long it actually took to put on the cosplay, to which Paulches replied, “It takes around half an hour to put the cosplay on…almost every single part of the cosplay can be disassembled into different small parts, for easy transportation, and it’s easier to fix also.”
The trio were finally asked on their experience of EuroCosplay and MCM London Comic Con. Don mentioned that this was actually is second time at MCM London, given that last year he attended as a helper. He mainly wanted to praise the crew, saying, “Big shoutout to the whole crew. There’s a big EuroCosplay family which really cares for you. They are there for you around the clock.”
Paulches responded that MCM London was his first convention outside of Russia and that he was still enjoying it, so it would take time for him to understand how he feels about it. But he highlighted how much he liked the dressing room. “It’s really important for a cosplayer to have space to put the cosplay on.”
LeelooKirs had previously attended EuroCosplay back in 2016 to support Aldarion Cosplay (this time it was the other way around). “[I] love this Comic-Con because there is plenty of people, a lot of diversity, possibilities and good stuff to buy.”
As the panel came to a close the trio accepted their trophies as Joe thanked the winners, saying, “You’ve been a pleasure to have all weekend, but also up here on stage.”
By Shalimar Sahota.
Thanks to James and Silvia at the Pop Asia Stage.
Photos by Harriett Greene (Manga Girl Photography).