Have you ever had a killer session of Tetris – wiping out 4-lines of cubes consecutively – and thought to yourself, “damn, maybe I could be a world champion at this?” Well, prepare to have your hopes dashed. The world championship just received its new king, and he’s good. Really good. He’s only 16 too, having not existed until over a decade after the games original release.
An annual event for the last 8-years, Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) was again held last weekend at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in Oregon. A 32-bracket tournament, the qualifying rounds were best of three. The 1989 NES version of Tetris was used, and players could choose from either levels 15 or 18. Once that was agreed upon, the players hit their respective start buttons at the same time since naturally, real hardware is used.
Seven of those eight previous champions were won by Jonas Neubauer, who featured in the Tetris-based documentary, Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters. After a weekend of qualifying rounds, the championship reached its climax during a very heated match between Saelee and Neubauer. You can watch the final two minutes below. There’s something oddly cathartic about watching professional grade Tetris.
Joseph wins the Classic Tetris World Championship in some insane high-level play pic.twitter.com/kUibFbdMuO
— Wario64 (@Wario64) October 21, 2018
Saelee is no stranger to Tetris. As you can imagine, you don’t just amble in and take a well-established title. His YouTube channel, which is full of stream recordings, is chock-a-block with amazing Tetris playing all by its lonesome.
For his troubles, Saelee earned $1000 in prize money and a suitably shaped trophy. Suffice to say, if you think you can deliver the goods, you now have 12-months to practice to try and steal his crown.