- Red Bull is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the iconic Rubik's Cube puzzle by livestreaming its "Rubik's Cube World Cup" competition on its Twitch channel at 11 a.m. ET on Nov. 7, per an announcement.
- This year's championship asks participants to use the new digital Rubik's Connected Cube, which connects wirelessly to a smartphone with the Rubik's Connected app, letting mobile users track how quickly they solve the cube-shaped puzzle and interact with other enthusiasts around the world.
- Instead of bringing competitors together face-to-face, as the competition has in years past, this year's event merges mobile technology with virtual events to bring Rubik's Cube fans together during a year when in-person events being forced to evolve because of the pandemic.
With many people stuck at home during the pandemic, the Rubik's Cube is among the puzzle toys that have seen a resurgence in interest. Red Bull and Rubik's Cube aim to capitalize on this interest by reformatting its annual "Rubik's Cube World Cup" as a virtual event on Twitch, the livestreaming platform owned by Amazon.
This year's competition is notable for featuring the new Rubik's Connected Cube, which supports a global community of Rubik's Cube fans. The new cube is equipped with Bluetooth technology to hook up wirelessly with a smartphone. The app has social and gamified features, letting people share their puzzle-solving times on a leaderboard. The app also helps newcomers to the puzzle to learn how to solve it more quickly.
The competition is also significant as people celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube, which was invented by Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik to teach his students about spatial relations. This year's championship will include winners of local and national digital competitions, along with the champions of the 2019 season. The competition offers $30,000 in prize money, according to Red Bull's website.
Earlier this year, as people were stuck at home, videos with the #CubeAtHome hashtag started to trend on social video app TikTok, where they were seen by more than 27 million people, and that interest spread to other social media platforms, Christoph Bettin, CEO of Rubik's Brand, said in the announcement. As Rubik's Cube videos started to trend on TikTok, the brand created a campaign using the hashtag #AdventureEveryTurn to help boost interest in the puzzle. The company also enlisted brand ambassadors including Keaton Ellis and Jack Cai to teach others how to solve the puzzle on Rubik's social channels, using the #FastFriday hashtag in their posts.
The virtual Rubic's Cube competition on Twitch is another sign of how Red Bull has revamped its live events during the pandemic. The energy drink brand this week started its yearly "Dance Your Style" competition as a virtual event, asking TikTok users to share dance videos for a chance to compete in its finals next year. As of the morning of Nov. 6, videos with the #redbulldanceyourstyle hashtag had generated more than 500 million views, a sign that the competition is gaining steam.