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

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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

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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