And the winner of the best-macOS-wallpaper-ever tournament is ...

And the winner of the best-macOS-wallpaper-ever tournament is …

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Is this your favorite macOS wallpaper?
Is this your favorite macOS wallpaper?
Photo: Apple

Apple aficionado Basic Apple Guy ran a “bracket” polling competition — think March Madness basketball, but without any perspiration — to determine the greatest macOS wallpaper ever. And users have spoken, according to a tweet pointing to final results Wednesday.

In a field of 18 competitors, macOS Catalina wallpaper emerged the champion (pictured above).

And the greatest macOS wallpaper of all time is …  Catalina

Basic Apple Guy conducted a tournament of sorts for his Great macOS Wallpaper Bracket, citing 18 combatants at the very start (16 appear in the full bracket below).

Over six weeks, he compiled results from round after round of voting in head-to-head competitions by “conference,” or theme (landscape wallpapers, space wallpaper, California wallpapers, etc.)

“I had no idea how this bracket would have panned out, but it turned out nothing as I had expected,” Basic Apple Guy wrote on the results page. “I was sure the old guard of Mac OS X users would vote heavily in favour of the nostalgic Aqua wallpapers.”

And yet those OS X wallpapers got knocked out in the first round, so he said he dropped any hope of accurately predicting the outcome. His own favorites to win were actually Big Sur, El Capitan and Mountain Lion. But he wasn’t disappointed when Catalina, an expansive landscape shot of Catalina Island off the coast of California, took the trophy.

“Catalina has a beautiful wallpaper. I can understand and appreciate how it held its own against the tough competition it faced,” he said.

Over the course of the poll, readers cast 7,395 votes.

The full bracket shows a clear winner based on fan votes cast over six rounds of polling.
The full bracket shows a clear winner based on fan votes cast over six rounds of polling.
Photo: Basic Apple Guy

Interestingly, in week 2 results from the “California Conference” battle of 10 wallpapers, Mojave edged out Catalina for the top spot (721 votes to 711 votes, or 88.1% to 86.9%). The bottom two, High Sierra and Ventura, were eliminated, with fewer than 600 votes apiece. Then Catalina overtook Mojave in Week 4 voting.

By Week 6, it came down to macOS X Lion, a space wallpaper, versus macOS Catalina. A total of 1,230 votes were cast in the final round, with Catalina winning by 36 votes (51.2%), 633 to 597.

All hail macOS Catalina!