In a competition that started out with 32 of metal's finest axe-slingers and shredders, and featured well over a million votes, late Pantera legend 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott has emerged victorious in Loudwire's Greatest Metal Guitarist tournament.

The fan-voted competition took some unexpected twists and turns during its one-month run, with early favorites like Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and late virtuoso Randy Rhoads being ousted by the likes of Avenged Sevenfold's Synyster Gates and Tool's Adam Jones in the bracket-style tournament.

In fact, it was the Tool guitarist who made it all the way to the final round against Dimebag. And with about 12 hours left, the championship match was a virtual tie, with only a few votes separating the two remaining contenders. However, Pantera's legions of fans came through in the final stretch, leading Dimebag to the ultimate victory.

Dimebag's path to victory wasn't an easy one, as he also beat such accomplished musicians as Zakk Wylde and Dream Theater's John Petrucci along the way. While the debate will continue well beyond our tournament, in many ways it can be argued that Dimebag was the ultimate metal guitarist. He took what he learned from the likes of Iommi, Rhoads and Joe Satriani and made it his own. He then went on to influence a generation of guitarists who came after him.

With all the votes in from you, the fans, Loudwire proudly declares the late great 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott as the Greatest Metal Guitarist. Getcha pull!