And so it begins. The 4th Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup – the pinnacle in competitive speedcubing – happens this week. Over on gather.town, the best cubers in the world are warming up their hands and switching their solve brains on to move as close to the finals at the weekend as they possibly can.
The top 29 are going virtual head-to-virtual head until someone claims the World Champion crown. Will Max Park still rule the Cube world by Europe's Saturday evening? This is the only place to find out.
Join us on this live blog for updates every day and for the results on Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4.
Follow all the action, all here, all week.
What an absolute belter! The 4th Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup – the first ever to play exclusively in an interactive digital environment – was an extraordinary experience, with the best cubers on the planet showing us all what makes them so truly, utterly special. No, they haven’t sped up their video; their hands really do move that fast. Incredible.
Max Park held his crown in a thrilling Speedcubing and Fastest Hand final. Following his victory, he said: “It was so much fun to take part in the competition again this year. Even though we weren’t able to compete in person, the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup always brings together the best cubers from around the world. It was so great to see everyone, and I’m really proud to be taking home both titles this year.”
Juliette Sébastien asserted her dominance, taking the Speedcubing Female crown and placing second to Max in Fastest Hand: “I’m happy to have won. It was a really fun comp. 6.975 was my fastest solve,” she said.
Tymon, who came second to Max in Speedcubing Mixed, knew going in he had his work cut out. Despite a nailbiting first couple of solves that put him in the lead, he lost out to the final winner. He said: “You only have it in the bag when you have all three solves.”
Big moments over the weekend:
- Philipp Weyer celebrating his birthday with third place in Fastest Hand.
- Feliks Zemdegs pulling a 4.07-second solve, the fastest of the competition.
- Tommy Cherry taking gold and setting a new Red Bull record in the Rescramble: 15.2 seconds. He said: “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I’ve always wanted to compete in the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup, but this is the first year I’ve been old enough. So I’m really happy to take home the win and I’m really pleased with my performance today."
- Max Park
- Tymon Kolasinski
- Patrick Ponce
- Juliette Sébastien
- Dana Yi
- Magdalena Pabisz
- Max Park
- Juliette Sébastien
- Philipp Weyer
- Tommy Cherry
- Chris Mills
- Manuel Gutman
This is TOUGH. Yesterday threw up all kinds of surprises, with Tommy Cherry setting a new Red Bull Rescramble record to face Adam Black today in the semis. Last year's Rescramble winner, Chris Mills, is up against Manuel Gutman. This is going to be an exciting face off.
In Speedcubing Female, Juliette Sébastien is in a very confident position, but Daria Belonogova isn't letting her get too comfortable, with only .416 seconds between them in the seeding grid. In the other semi, Dana Yi and Magdalena Pabisz are incredibly well matched
Juliette Sébastien and Max Park both have big afternoons ahead, with two semis each: Speedcubing and Fastest Hand.
In Speedcubing Mixed, we're in for a treat, as Netflix stars and speedcubing greats Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs face each other in one semi and Tymon Kolasinski goes up against Patrick Ponce in the other.
Let the games begin!
In an intense USA vs USA semi, Patrick Ponce put in a solid play, but Max Park finished three up, conceding only one solve.
In the other semi, Juliette Sébastien stole an early lead and put Philipp Weyer out of the race to secure a Juliette vs Max final.
Patrick Ponce and Philipp Weyer went head-to-head for third place, but internet connection and mistakes hampered Patrick, so Philipp took the podium.
In a tense, exciting final, Juliette put up an incredible battle against Max, but in the end Max took the gold.
Tommy Cherry had a clear run against Adam Black in their Rescramble semi, asserting his dominance with a 3–0 win.
In their truly global semi, Brit Chris Mills in New Zealand wished Manuel Gutman in Argentina a heartfelt "Good luck, Manuel." A few technical wobbles delayed the start and added tension to an already high-stakes match, but ultimately, last year's Rescramble winner Mills held his nerve to go 3–2 and into the final against new record-holder, Tommy Cherry.
In the match for third, Adam Black, playing in the UK, kept his spirits up despite Manuel beating him 3–1 to take bronze.
Then, all eyes turned to the big match: Tommy versus Chris. With smiles on their faces, the two were clearly enjoying their competition, but Tommy took the game 3–1 in what really is an incredible weekend for the American.
Coming straight from her Fastest Hand final against Max Park, France's Juliette Sébastien, the top female seed, went through to the final after beating Daria Belonogova 3–1.
It was high drama in the first solve of Dana Yi and Magdalena Pabisz's semi-final, when Dana’s cube disconnected and delayed the action. She came back however to beat Magda 3–0.
Poland's Magda and Daria from Russia, where the qualifiers took place in person, went head-to-head digitally for third, with Magda taking the podium 3–0.
The Juliette versus Dana final pitted the top two seeds against each other. Dana was divine in defeat, spotting that Juliette "nearly popped" when she beat her 3–1 to become Speedcubing Female champion for 2021.
Patrick Ponce gave it all he had to come back from tough matches in Fastest Hand to step into the Speedcubing semi against Poland's Tymon Kolasinski. Tymon dominated from the start, went 3–0 up and took his place in the final against a speedcubing icon.
Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs, Netflix stars, good friends and the best cubers in the world, sat down in Australia and the United States to decide who would go into the final. At 2–2, the pressure kicked-in, but Max took control, won 3–2, waved at Feliks and wished him luck in the next competition.
While Tymon and Max refocused, Patrick and Feliks settled third place, with Patrick taking it 3–1.
In the Speedcubing Mixed final, Tymon took the first solve, and pulled a 5.66s in the second solve. Then Max dropped a 4.943s, then a 4.830s. At 2–2, it was neck-and-neck, but in the final solve Max beat Tymon to retain his crown.
Heading into the finals
What a couple of hours! The energy was incredible in gather.town, with the world’s best cubers watching each other battle the cube, push each other to the limits and support each other as only the cubing community knows how.And to add to the excitement, we saw a new Red Bull Rescramble record solve thanks to Tommy Cherry – an incredible 15.36s!
This is the first interactive Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup, with an esports stadium for battles, a cinema screening the 1-on-1, a trophy room and Rubik’s library, as well as private player rooms.
How did they get here?
In Digital Qualifiers over the last few months, they solved through knock-out rounds, worked their way up leaderboards and went head-to-head in tournaments to claim a ticket for the coveted World Finals. India and Russia had live events to find their top four seeds to represent in gather.town in all four events: Speedcubing Mixed, Speedcubing Female, Rescramble and Fastest Hand.
What happens now?
Here’s where we are going into Saturday and the ultimate 4th Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup Finals. The knockouts are over. Here are your semi-finalists.
Speedcubing Mixed Semi-Final (1-on-1, best of 5, 15-second inspection)
- Tymon Kolasinski vs Patrick Ponce
- Max Park vs Feliks Zemdegs
Speedcubing Female Semi-Final (1-on-1, best of 5, 15-second inspection)
- Juliette Sébastien vs Daria Belonogova
- Dana Yi vs Magdalena Pabisz
Rescramble Semi-Final (1 on 1, best of 5, 0-second inspection, re-create a pattern)
- Tommy Cherry vs Adam Black
- Manuel Gutman vs Chris Mills
Fastest Hand Semi-Final (1-on-1, best of 5, 15-second inspection, one hand only)
- Max Park vs Patrick Ponce
- Philipp Weyer vs Juliette Sébastien
We’re around an hour from show time. There are a lot of cubers getting very fidgety right now. Check out part two of our Speedcuber Lucky Dip to see who’s battling it out for the crown while you wait for the knockouts. We’ll post the results here as soon as they’re in.
Nationality: Hong Kong
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 8.18 / 9.59
Speedcubing records: Watch this space!
What makes them interesting: After just 6 competitions, Andy won the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup 2nd Digital Qualifier for Rescramble. Bring on the weekend!
“Rescramble win! Worlds Final Let’s GOOOOO!”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.81 / 6.06
Speedcubing records: World Champion 2019 in 3x3, and he holds German national record for 3x3 one-handed.
What makes them interesting: Philipp’s twin brother, Sebastian, is also a competitive cuber.
“If we didn’t have each other to battle against we wouldn’t be where we are now. That was definitely a key component. We’re just so competitive.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.72 / 7.39
Speedcubing records: 1st UK Championships 2019 in 2x2 and 3x3, 2nd UK Championships 2019 in Skewb, 3rd UK Championships in 3x3 one-handed.
What makes them interesting: George used to be really into magic until he caught the cubing bug, AND he’s used Rubik’s Cubes to create a portrait of Prince Harry.
“If you’re starting cubing, split the solve down into steps and assign a step to each day. It allows you to be decent at each step and not have to look at notes.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.29 / 7.26
Speedcubing records: Russia’s 3x3 one-handed record holder.
What makes them interesting: Completed the fastest solve in last year’s semi-finals: 8.5 seconds.
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 6.95 / 8.86
Speedcubing records: 2 x Rescramble World Champion.
What makes them interesting: Ricky has found his niche in the Rescramble event and has appeared on several podiums in the last few years.
“1 vs 1 matches are fun!”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.76 / 6.25
Speedcubing records: 14 national records in Canada, 2nd at WCA World Championship 2019 in 4x4 blindfold.
What makes them interesting: Bill has 11 gold medal podiums and held the world 4x4 blindfold record for 2 years.
“My favorite algorithm is probably the Jb perm as it is probably my fastest PLL to execute in a solve.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 7.12 / 9.25
Speedcubing records: 1st at Argentina Nationals 2018 in 3x3 blindfold (18.10), Guido also holds national records in 3x3 blindfold and 3x3 fewest moves.
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 8.84 / 10.55
Speedcubing records: The best is yet to come 😊
What makes them interesting: In just 9 competitions, Darya has marched up the ranks, placing in almost every final she’s competed in.
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 8.67 / 11.22
Speedcubing records: She holds the Russian national record in 2x2 (single 0.60).
What makes them interesting: Ekaterina has been to just 9 competitions and taken 8 podiums.
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.93 / 7.94
Speedcubing records: Are you ready for Mikhail?!
What makes them interesting: This is Mikhail’s second-ever official competition. Ever.
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 12.51 / 13.24
Speedcubing records: She’s 4th best female feet cuber in the world and placed 7th in Indian feet cubers. She won 2020 Red Bull Rubik’s Cube National Finals in the Speedcubing Female.
"Even when I am hanging out with my friends or watching TV, I have a cube with me. I constantly try to solve it. I'm in a constant race with myself."
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 6.50 / 8.40
Speedcubing records: Bhargav held the Guinness World Record for the fastest time (1.23 seconds) to solve 5 3x3s in one hand.
What makes them interesting: Bhargav’s whole family cubes – Mom and Dad, too. He’s 28 and is a doctor with a pharmaceutical company when he’s not cubing Source.
“When my sister or I see the other about to break a record, we're motivated to try harder.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 10.72 / 12.18
Speedcubing records: 3rd at Indian Nationals 2015 in 6x6 and 3x3 one-handed.
What makes them interesting: Earlier this year, he broke the Indian Rescramble record with 21.83.
“To prepare for the World Cup, every day I solve 300 to 400 times and practice 4 to 5 hours a day.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.91 / 7.11
Speedcubing records: National 3x3 record holder (4.91), 1st in 4x4 at Indian Nationals 2018 and 3rd in 2019 – there’s all to play for.
Cuber, vlogger, musician and science student, Aryan lost 55kg in a year to feel better about himself and his lifestyle.
“My idol is Feliks Zemdegs. Am I confident I can beat him in 2021? Yes!”
Meet the players
Your lucky dip of speedcuber bios. Drop by tomorrow to meet the rest of the players to look out for on Friday and Saturday… it’s all getting super close now.
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.24 / 5.83 seconds
Speedcubing records: 1st in US Nationals 2019 3x3, 2017 Single World Record holder in 3x3 (4.69).
What makes them interesting: Patrick has 158 gold medal podiums and has his eyes on winning in 2021.
“Cubing gives me instant gratification. It makes me happy.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 6.61 / 9.36
Speedcubing records: WCA World Champion 2019 in 3x3 blindfolded.
What makes them interesting: Manuel’s biggest inspiration is the drive to win – he wants to be better than everyone.
“I’m trying to get as many podiums as I can, I guess”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.61 / 7.51
Speedcubing records: 1st place in Israel Nationals 2019 3x3, 2x2, 4x4 and 5x5, 3x3 one-handed.
What makes them interesting: The best speedcuber in Israel, Baron holds 56 national records and broke the national record a couple of days ago.
“I took a 3x3 and changed the colors around, and tried to speedsolve it, and even attempted to solve it blindfolded. It was awful!”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.40 / 5.32
Speedcubing records: World Record holder for 5x5, 6x6, 7x7 and 3x3 one-handed – and set more records in the last few days.
What makes them interesting: Holds the Guinness World Record for 4x4, 7x7, and fastest one-handed average.
“Don't think, just solve.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.16 / 5.53
Speedcubing records: Felix set the World Record for the 3×3 average 13 times and has accumulated 121 World Records.
What makes them interesting: Feliks has 640 gold medal podiums, making him the most successful speedcuber of all time
"When you start out learning an instrument or start out learning Rubik's Cube, it's very mechanical, formulaic," says Zemdegs. "But then, once you get down a lot of experience it's more of an art than just a formula."
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.44 / 6.40
Speedcubing records: Holds 2 European records and placed 3rd in the World Championship 2020.
What makes them interesting: She won last year’s speedcubing female, with 6.9 seconds, and placed 2nd in fastest one-hand.
“I learned fingertricks on a two-week vacation in Paris, doing the movements in my pocket while we walked the streets.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.90 / 7.13
Speedcubing records: National 6x6 record set November 28, 2021.
What makes them interesting: Ryan set a Canadian record – his first title – just last week. One to look out for at the Worlds.
“My first record! Didn't expect it to be in 6x6!”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.37 / 7.52
Speedcubing records: 3rd US Nationals 2017 in Megaminx.
What makes them interesting: After graduating University of Pennsylvania, Dana is now a software engineer.
“I think the biggest thing for cubing is just have fun. Practicing, learning, and improving are extremely important, but if you don’t slow down to enjoy the time, the people and the solves, they can burnout.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.68 / 7.69
Speedcubing records: 1st place in the French National 2019 in 3x3 fewest moves.
What makes them interesting: Nicolas is the top French 3x3 solver to use his feet.
“One day, I want to be World Champion.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.97 / 7.14
Speedcubing records: She holds the female world record for 2x2 (54 seconds) and placed 2nd in Polish Nationals 2021 for Megaminx.
What makes them interesting: The dodecahedron Megaminx is Magdalena’s forte – she holds the Polish national record and places 4th globally.
“My adventure with Rubik's Cube began as a fun way to kill boredom. Now, I have big plans for the future.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.00 / 6.77
Speedcubing records: Rescramble Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup Winner 2020.
What makes them interesting: Chris is a Brit living in New Zealand and hit the 1st UK sub 7 in 3x3 in April 2021.
On winning the Rescramble: “I really wasn't expecting to do that well, I really just hoped to make it to the final two. I had no idea I'd end up winning. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 4.11 / 5.54
Speedcubing records: 1st in WCA World Championships 2019 in Pyraminx.
What makes them interesting: He holds 5 World Records and 34 Polish records.
“I practice 3x3 all day using different methods, starting really slowly and getting faster to perfect my turning. Cubing gives me life.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 5.57 / 7.26
Speedcubing records: Current Canadian Record Holder in 2x2 Cube, averaging 1.58 seconds.
What makes them interesting: He placed 3rd in September’s Digital Qualifier for the Worlds.
“I started cube competitions five years ago, and five years on, I’m still practicing frequently.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single/AVG): 6.18 / 7.31
Speedcubing records: 3rd in US Nationals 2019 in 3x3 with feet.
What makes them interesting: Smashed the 3x3 blindfolded earlier this year (15.27 Single), and he’s looking strong in the Rescramble.
“I was super nervous, so it was such an amazing feeling lifting off the blindfold and seeing the cube solved in world record time on the very first attempt.”
Fastest 3x3 Solve (single): 4.46
Speedcubing records: Incoming!
What makes them interesting: This is Adam’s first major competition, and he’s going in hard on the Rescramble.
“You need to be working on one step and looking ahead to the next step to keep it as seamless as you can.”
Game modes explainer
So what’s happening here? Well, we have the world’s fastest Rubik’s Cube solvers – speedcubers – battling the clock and each other to solve the Cubes as quickly as possible. It sounds simple, right? But we’re talking solving it in seconds.
The fastest Rubik’s Cube solve is currently 3.47s, a record set by Yusheng Du in 2018. He knocked 0.75s off the record held by Feliks Zemdegs – but he and all human speedcubers have a way to go to best the robot who solved a 3x3 in 0.38s.
In the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup, there are four categories: Speedcubing Mixed, Speedcubing Female, Re-scramble and Fastest Hand. Here’s how they break down.
Using a digitally connected version of the classic 3x3 Rubik’s Cube, competitors push the boundaries of what is possible to solve as quickly as possible using extreme dexterity, an encyclopaedic knowledge of algorithms and some good old-fashioned luck.
The Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup is the only speedcubing tournament to offer a women’s only event, with the objective of encouraging more women to take up the sport.
In this event, competitors get a solved Cube and need to match the pattern of a randomly scrambled Cube, in one of 43 quintillion possible scrambles.
Is exactly what it sounds like: the fastest solve the Cube with just one hand.
4,278 participants from 50+ countries are down to the top 29. Each one has aced their solves over six qualifiers to compete for the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup crown on Saturday, December 4.
Today and tomorrow, Cubers work through the seeding rounds over in Discord using the innovative and fully digital Rubik’s Connected Cube app to track their turns and solves. From there, everyone shuffles into 1on1 brackets to compete, then the winners take another step towards the World Finals Days in the Esports Stadium on gather.town on Friday and Saturday. This is the first EVER interactive Rubik’s World. This is big.
All the action in all game modes – Speedcubing Mixed, Fastest Hand, Re-Scramble and Speedcubing Female – is virtual. And, following along here, you get a front-row seat. This is the first place for the news and the results.