Home Gaming 16-year-old Wunderkind Beats 7-time World Champ to Claim Classic Tetris World Championship

16-year-old Wunderkind Beats 7-time World Champ to Claim Classic Tetris World Championship

1 min read


Believe it or not, but Tetris can be one hell of a competitive game. So much so that there’s an annual Tetris World Championship that has opponents stacking up (and hopefully clearing) tetrominoes that descend at an increasingly rapid pace, vying for high scores. The Classic Tetris World Championship is played using the 1989 NES version of Tetris and requires eagle-eyed vision, quick-thinking and lightning reflexes.

And this year, the Classic Tetris World Championship was won by a 16 -year-old- Tetris prodigy. Joseph Saelee of Clovis, California, bested seven-time world championship winner Jonas Neubauer of Highland Park, California, in this year’s grand final of the Classic Tetris World Championship. Saelee beat Neubauer 3-0.

Following qualifying rounds, the game is played as a 32 bracket seeded tournament. Players play up to three games in a match, with the first to win two games going on to the next round. The game is set to start at the already speedy level 15 or 18, with the highest score winning.

Here’s the moment where Saelee won:

With some nice direct-feed footage

Joseph Saelee may only be 16, but he’s demonstrated some incredible Tetris prowess. Here he is getting to level 31, which requires skills that my brain can’t even comprehend.

For his trouble, Saelee won $1000 along with the Classic Tetris World Cup trophy.

Last Updated: October 23, 2018


  1. Admiral Chief

    October 23, 2018 at 11:48

    Impressive, most impressive. But you are not a Jedi yet


  2. Original Heretic

    October 23, 2018 at 11:52

    A measly $1 000?!


  3. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    October 23, 2018 at 12:10

    All those years of practice, for $1000 prize winnings?


    • Geoffrey Tim

      October 23, 2018 at 12:15

      and the sense of accomplishment, and the title..and not everything has to be about money.


      • miaau

        October 23, 2018 at 12:29

        Yeah.… I get that.

        As someone whose money affairs took a dive more than a year ago and has not yet corrected (I am owed a big whack of money, business stuff) itself, I am learning to appreciate that more and more. And more.


        • Geoffrey Tim

          October 23, 2018 at 16:17

          Every time I see you post i want to go out and get a Scottish Fold.


      • Original Heretic

        October 23, 2018 at 12:50

        Titles and awards don’t pay bills, don’t put food on the table.
        As nice as it is to get awards and all that, come the end of the day, a certificate is just a fancy piece of cardboard, a trophy is just an empty cup.


        • Geoffrey Tim

          October 23, 2018 at 13:53

          Dude’s 16. He’s still in school. His priorities aren’t about paying the bills.
          The weight of the realities of life will still hit him in the face. Right now, dude can be stoked as hell and have a sense of accomplishment that does more for him, mentally and emotionally, than the $1000 prize does.


          • Original Heretic

            October 23, 2018 at 13:57

            For his sake, I hope he learns and understands that.
            That moving forward, doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it matter what you do next.

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        October 23, 2018 at 14:39

        Sense of accomplishment? I didn’t know Tetris had microtransactions!

        And without money, one cannot function normally in society. I say this from experience. You can’t even get a slice of bread without money.


    • Admiral Chief

      October 23, 2018 at 12:15



    • HvR

      October 23, 2018 at 16:54

      Do not forget all that Tetris groupie action he is getting being world champ.


      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        October 24, 2018 at 10:43

        Oh yea slotting it right in


  4. Chris

    October 23, 2018 at 12:12

    The odds were stacked against him.


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