The Friday Five: Alyssa Esparaz
Tell us about the Rubik’s World Cube Association (WCA) North American Championship event.
Rubik’s WCA North American Championship 2022 is the World Cube Association’s inaugural North American championship. We are thrilled to be welcoming the speedcubing community to Toronto, Canada on July 7-10, 2022 for this historic event, in partnership with Rubik’s as our title sponsor.
We are expecting 500 competitors from around the world to attend. All official WCA events will be taking place, from the famous 3x3x3 Cube to the largest 7x7x7, as well as the more unique puzzles, such as the Megaminx and events such as 3x3x3 One-Handed or Blindfolded.
Unfortunately, the number of spectators will be limited due to the pandemic. However, there will be a livestream available for those who are unable to attend in person. Those who are interested can follow us on social media @NAChamps2022 for updates on how to watch the competition.
What’s the process for qualifying for the event?
There are various qualification requirements for Rubik’s WCA North American Championship 2022, depending on the event. For some of the more popular events, like the 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube or Skewb, the only qualification requirement is to have previously completed an average (a set of 5 solves) at an official WCA competition. Other events have qualification times that competitors need to achieve at an official WCA event prior to June 13, 2022. All qualification times are published on our website, and competitors can find opportunities to qualify at an official WCA competition on the WCA website.
Ernő Rubik created the Rubik’s Cube in the 1970s. The puzzle continues to build its following. Why do you think that is?
I think there’s something about the simplicity of the Cube that gives it a universal appeal. It transcends cultures, generations, languages, and walks of life. One in every 7 people around the world has played with a Rubik’s Cube! The Rubik’s Cube — which was originally called the Magic Cube — speaks to the noblest, universally shared human characteristics: curiosity, playfulness, problem-solving, and intelligence. Young people in particular seem to be captivated with solving the Cube at speed.
Beyond the universal appeal, a compelling community has formed around the Cube. The competitive nature of the event is only one aspect of WCA competitions. At the heart of these competitions isn’t the podiums, but the tables around which cubers of all backgrounds gather to solve together, catch-up, talk about the latest puzzles and records, and simply connect in a community where they find belonging and friendship.
What advice can you share for people hoping to hone their skills and compete in a future championship event?
There are so many ways for budding cubers to hone their skills. The Rubik’s website and YouTube channel have great tutorials and step-by-step guides to solving all different types of cubes. Aspiring solvers can also attend local competitions to connect with the cubing community, and can follow popular cubers on social media.
Ultimately, it comes down to practice. The more time spent solving the Cube, the more muscle memory gets built. What is so great about the Cube is that is so easy to pick up and play with independently. You are competing against yourself when you are solving the Cube, so keep setting new goals and working towards those goals by having fun playing with the Cube.
How can people get involved in the World Cube Association?
The best way to get involved is to attend a local competition, either as a competitor or a volunteer. If you have questions about a local competition, contact the local WCA Delegate. Additionally, the WCA has several volunteer teams and committees that community members can join to help run the WCA’s day-to-day operations. All information about the WCA can be found on the WCA website: worldcubeassociation.org.
We’re always thrilled to welcome new people into the cubing community. Over 100,000 people have competed in WCA competitions worldwide, and it’s exciting to see that number grow each week.
The Rubik’s WCA North American Championship event takes place in Toronto from July 7 to 10, 2022. Learn more about the event.
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