We all know it. The coronavirus. It really affected cubing competitions, and that is what this article will look at. It stopped all in person competitions for obvious reasons, and for many cubers, this just made the isolation worse. We lost not only our freedom of movement, but also the competitions for our favourite hobby. However, there was, and will always be, a silver lining to all this, and that was online competitions, along with more time to practice (and an excuse for not having gone to a competition!).
These online competitions, which were also sponsored by cube stores, like normal competitions, seemed to be a hit. Cubing at Home, or C@H. The Red Bull Rubik's Cube World Cup was perhaps the biggest, all these events having many competitors, and even sequels!
Here you can keep track of official WCA competitions and sign up.
It might be a great opportunity to visit Wuhan on Jan 30, 2021...
Online competitions made socialising with other cubers extremely hard, however. Many cubers say that they go to competitions more to meet other cubers than to compete. This is the major downfall with online events, they are geared towards competing rather than socialising. For that reason, I believe that online competitions will not become the standard, along with the fact that it is really hard to protect against cheaters.
There were some competitions in early 2020, up until the huge crackdown in March and April. Due to the cases going down, and a vaccine becoming available, cubing competitions in some countries have started up again, with Feliks Zemdegs posting averages from his first competition after the lockdowns. So, should we expect a lot of WR’s, NR’s, and CR’s to be set? This all depends on the event. On events like 2x2, where luck plays a large role, probably no more than normal. However, on events like 7x7 and other big cubes, where there are many inefficiencies and a lot of room for improvement, the lockdown has given solvers a chance to really focus and practice, without any commitments. The new hardware released by top companies may also contribute to new records. The MGC Magnetic 6x6 and 7x7 will probably have the biggest impact on new records, as for 6x6 and 7x7 the hardware also needs many improvements.
Finally, a YouTuber, LaZer0MonKey, made the Monkey League, which added live cubing entertainment to the lockdown. The top cubers, including Feliks Zemdegs, Leo Borromeo, and Lucas Etter, faced down each other to win. There were two rounds. To be honest, the coronavirus didn’t make less cubing content, it made more. YouTubers had more time to make videos, and many new channels sprung up.