It may not be the World Cup, but the Red Bull Thre3style competition is a big deal on the global party circuit, and Brazilian DJ Nedu Lopes has done a bang-up job representing his country over the past three years.

Lopes, who took second place in Paris two years ago and came in third in Vancouver in 2011, was in Chicago last week for the 2012 finals. His performance at a Sept. 27 preliminary round at Reggie’s didn’t quite go as planned; he was up against five contenders from as many countries, and the judges picked Canada’s DJ Shub as the winner.  “I was the first one to go onstage, and that’s usually not a good position to be in,” he said the following day, his voice tinged with regret. “And then I made a couple of mistakes.” But he still had hopes of advancing to the World Final as a Wild Card. “Every year the judges have the discretion to pick two DJs who they think are worthy of making the final cut,” he explained.

Lo an behold, Lopes was picked as a Wild Card, so on Sept 29 there he was at Metro for the World Final, where he came out second to Seattle’s DJ Four Color Zack; they both took home Willis Tower-shaped trophies, along with the bronze winner, Chile’s DJ Drummer. “I was very happy with my second-place finish,” Lopes said. “The DJ from the host country is almost obligated to win. He was the advantages of audience support and knowing what plays well to this crowd, so to me this is a second-place finish that tastes like a victory.”

Here’s Lopes’ 15-minute set, which incorporates Brazilian sounds ranging from soccer cheers to some rapping by São Paulo MC Emicida.

Lopes, a Belo Horizonte native, is already back at his São Paulo homebase. “I didn’t get to do much in Chicago,” he confessed by email; in between the DJ battles, he spent much of his time here being shuffled to and from the Hard Rock Hotel to rehearsals, soundchecks, and the like. “I’ll have to come back as a tourist, but I loved the city, based on what little of it I could see!”

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