The second and one of the most challenging WFA Grand Slams of the year is over, Barstylez The Big Match has concluded and the final turned out to be an exceptionally tight competition between the top 2 bartenders. Featuring 23 competitors from 10 different countries and taking place during the Singapore Cocktail Festival – The Big Match WFA Grand Slam is one of the most challenging partly because of where it takes place, in Singapore, where the heat and humidity levels are a lot higher than many of the competing bartenders are used to. With Asia’s best bartenders also in attendance, these conditions certainly suited the home competitors.
Now in its 7th edition, The Big Match is now the longest running WFA Grand Slam competition in Asia. There was 7500$ USD up for grabs between the top 10 competitors, as well as prizes for Best Cocktail, Best Girl, Best Asian competitor and The Special Prize for the best Lang Jiu. As with every year, hundreds of people turned up to the Singapore Cocktail Festival to watch the finals, alongside many more who were watching around the world on our online live stream; supporting their favourite flair bartenders.
With the current Top 4 in the WFA Grand Slam leader board all competing, the stage was set for an interesting and hard fought competition, now for the result…
This year’s winner and 2015 WFA Grand Slam Champion was Alexander Shtifanov (@alexandershtifanov) – he bagged himself $2500 USD and The Big Match Championship Belt. He was very closely followed by our current WFA Grand Slam Champion Deniss Trifanovs (@denisstrifanovs) – there was only 0.3 between 1st and 2nd! With the 2017 WFA Grand Slam Champion Marek Posluszny (@marasboston) coming in third place. The top 3 all got themselves another highly coveted WFA Black Grade, with WFA Purple going to 4th place Slava Belyakov (@slavabelyakov), 5th to Asia’s best bartender on the day Zhang Yide (@yide) , and 6th place to Sergei Bulakhtin (@sergeibulakhtin).
The prize for best cocktail went to Slava Belyakov, with Alexander Shtifanov taking the LangJiu Special Prize for the best move, Zhang Yide was crowned the best from Asia and Lin Yijun (@yijun) the best female. Here is how the Grand Slam Leaderboard for 2019 looks now after 2 events:
Memorable moments with Tomek Malek
“The competition this year was difficult, with the temperature and humidity levels very high. Naturally that makes holding on to those bottles just a little harder, but nothing that these professional bartenders can’t handle. Everyone did a great job regardless. As the WFA Grand Slam was on during the Singapore Cocktail Week, there were lots of cocktail bartenders and different drinks brands around, many of who were really enjoying the performances they were seeing on stage – which is always great to see.
As for the competitors themselves, there was a lot of great performances at this year’s The Big Match. I really enjoyed the performance from 5th place and Best Asian, Zhang Yide – who showed a really fresh routine with some high difficulty moves. Alexander Shtifanov of course was our winner however, and he stepped up with a very big routine, showing great confidence and composure – with some really high difficulty moves. Deniss Trifanovs is known for his high difficulty moves too and didn’t disappoint – both routines were amazing and in the end it came down to 0.3 points between them to decide 1st and 2nd, which just shows you how tight it was.
In 3rd place, Marek was also great. Unfortunately he broke 2 bottles in his first round and maybe this caused him to lose a little composure and confidence which led to a few drops and cost him points – overall his cocktail was very good though, which helped him claw back a few vital points. Slava came with a good routine, again it was the amount of drops that let him down a little, however his music synchronisation was very impressive in his routine. We didn’t have any female bartenders in the final this time around, although the best female from Taiwan, Lin Yijun, performed a great routine from what we saw of her in the qualification round.
A huge congratulations to all the bartenders that came and took part in the 2nd WFA Grand Slam of the year, I am already looking forward to seeing what happens at the next!”