Moscow, Russia – What an evening for Max Park who continued his ascension to the top of the speedcubing world. Coming to Moscow as part of the new generation of speedcubers, he took out a who’s who of top talent on his path to the 3x3 & Fastest Hand championships at the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup Final from the Yota Arena.
In the Fastest Hand game mode, the 17 year old Park fought through a crowded field to meet rival, friend and speedcubing legend, Australian Feliks Zemdegs. While Zemdegs has dozens of world records to his name, he was no match for Park on this night.
Saving his best for last however, Park’s star power was undeniable in 3x3, speedcubing‘s marquee event. He dispatched Zemdegs again in the quarterfinals, won a nail-biter against American Patrick Ponce in the semifinals and didn’t flinch against Philipp Weyer of Germany in the final. Competitors and fans alike gasped in awe as he sealed his victory with a final time of 5.2 seconds and raised the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup on the podium.
Making the victories even more amazing is the fact Park competes with Autism, a condition that makes socializing, having a conversation and crowds a challenge. His father Schwan Park attributes the cube with helping him meet the challenges of life head on. “This competition was a huge step forward for Max,” said the elder Park. “Typically, Max competes at local competitions in the US and so the fact he got to come to Moscow for this and not just experience everything but actually do well was great.”
In other game tracks:
• France’s Juliette Sebastien fought back from an early deficit to claim victory over American rival Dana Yi in the In the Women’s 3x3 track.
• Re-Scramble was dominated by German Ricky Meiler who fought back hometown favourite Dmitry Aniskin in an exciting mode that sees competitors try to match random scrambles head to head.
Competing for their share of a $30,000 USD prize pool as well as the world championship, 25 competitors from 11 nations made up the stacked field of speedcubing elite.
“I’ve been cubing for a very long time and the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup is a new type of event, an exciting event that feels big and different,” said Zemdegs. “It’s fantastic to see companies like Red Bull and Rubik’s Cube support this community and take our competitions to another level.”
Also taking in the festivities was the man whose invention allowed this competition and the entire discipline of speedcubing to happen, Professor Erno Rubik. Traveling from his home in Budapest, Hungary, Prof. Rubik watched as his cube, which was once thought insolvable, was manipulated with dizzying speed in the pursuit of victory and potentially a world record.
“The cube is a global phenomenon,“ said Rubik. “The cube can teach people how to see through problems and draw on inspiration to solve them. To me, that is the most important thing about this tournament. Competition is different for each person but the inspiration I see and feel here from the cube is powerful.“
Now in its second season, the Red Bull Rubik’s Cube World Cup goal is to continue the development of competitive speedcubing by creating more visibility for this professional mind sport and variants on the play.