Hi everyone, it’s that time of the year again where I do some reflecting, updating, and predicting.
To kick things off, a review of my predictions for 2019 which I posted a year ago on this blog!
- Max Park defends his US Titles for 3x3-7x7 and OH, as well as adds a US podium for megaminx.
- My first prediction (what I thought was the safest) didn’t quite come off – despite Max being absolutely dominant in the big cubes and OH, Patrick Ponce was able to win 3x3 at the US Nationals 2019, and Max came in third, showing that nobody is immune to nerves 100% of the time. Still, I’d say winning 5 world championship titles and breaking another 7 world records was a pretty spectacular year for Max!
- By the end of the year: 5 people will have sub 6 3x3 averages, 5 people will have sub 10 OH averages, and 5 people will have sub 20 3BLD means.
- For some context, this second prediction was made at a time when there were: 2 sub 6 averages, 2 sub 10 OH averages, and 0 sub 20 3BLD averages.
- The essence of the prediction was that people would continue to improve at cubing (duh), and these round number averages were similarly difficult barriers in the respective events. We ended up with just one new sub 6 average, and certainly not from someone anybody would have predicted at the start of the year. Sean Patrick Villanueva posted a 5.98 average in October, after bursting onto the scene earlier in the year at the Luzon Championship with 3 sub 7 averages, and then placing 2nd at the World Championships! Glad I was able to round out the 5 sub 10 OH averages before the year was over. The sub 20 BLD means certainly seemed to be the easiest barrier, with 7 people posting sub 20 means in 2019. (Actually, there remained zero sub 20 means until May, before the floodgates opened)
- The difference between 1st and 4th place at Worlds will be less than 0.2 seconds.
- The essence of this final prediction was that the World Championship 3x3 title would be incredibly close – and I just wanted to put some concrete numbers to it, but it was considerably closer than I would have ever anticipated. Thrilling stuff, just 0.11 seconds from 1st (Philipp Weyer, 6.74), all the way to 6th (Seung Hyuk Nahm, 6.85).
(Also for reference, one of my 2018 predictions – Sebastian getting a 4x4 WR single with parity - came true!)
For 2020, here’s an assortment of less structured predictions, some are a lot safer than others.
- Finally, 3x3x3 with feet will be removed as an official WCA event. Unfortunately, Clock will not.
- I have a long standing bet with a cuber that a sub 20 4x4 average will not be achieved by Euros 2020. So, the prediction is that a sub 20 4x4 average will be achieved next year, after the European Championships.
- The frequency of world records will slow down considerably, with less than 25 WRs being broken over the course of 2020. For reference, 87 records were broken in 2018 and 61 world records were broken (so far) in 2019.
- Continental champion predictions - North America: Max Park, Europe: Tymon Kolasinski, Asia: Leo Borromeo.
Now to look back at the goals I set at the start of the year. Since 2015, I've now achieved just 4/10 of my quantifiable goals - these are definitely intended as stretch goals.
- Given that it’s a World Championship year, I’d like to podium in 3x3-7x7 and OH.
- Yeah… didn’t even get close on this one. Unfortunately Worlds 2019 was probably my worst ever performance at a major cubing competition and I was unable to handle the pressure like on previous occasions. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.
- Get the fastest official 3x3 average in competition for the calendar year of 2019. To complete this streak for the decade of 2010-2019 would be so sweet.
- Not to jinx it, but I think that this one is safe! My unintentionally high variance solving style yielded a 5.69 and 5.53 average, with just one other sub 6 average for the year.
Goals for 2020 are as follows:
- Get 5 sub 6 official 3x3 averages in the calendar year. This requires a bit more consistency and perhaps slightly more competition attendance, but I think it’s a nice stretch goal for myself as I narrow my focus a little bit more on 3x3. Thankfully, Australian competitions are absolutely booming post world championships.
- Not sure if I’ll go to Euros or Asians just yet, but my standard 3-7 + OH + Mega podiums goal will apply at these comps, depending on the mega psych sheet.
- For something different, I’d like to post a sub 6 stackmat average of 100 on YouTube.
As many of you who may have been following the website for a few years may have seen, my activity and content development for the site reduced over this time – in 2017 it was very strong and consistent, in 2018 it was in burst periods, and in 2019 I was just posting blogs and staying up to date with comments and emails. This basically coincided with the amount of time I was able to devote to the site, but was also a function of how ‘complete’ I felt the site was. There has been plenty of innovation in cubing methods over the 3 years since this site was created, so next year I intend to conduct a thorough review of algorithms, tutorial content, and hopefully film some new videos. For premium members, I will be sticking to a strict twice a month schedule of example solve live streams, so get excited! I've announced the first stream on the front page and the livestreams tab. In the meantime, I'll also be streaming some casual solves and chat for quite a while tomorrow over on my twitch channel, starting from around 10am Melbourne time (31st of Dec).