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16-year-old Tetris prodigy defeats seven-time world champion to become king of classic Tetris


A 16-year-old Tetris prodigy has defeated a seven-time world champion to become king of classic Tetris.

Joseph Saelee, of Clovis, California, defeated Jonas Neubauer, of Highland Park, California 3-0 in the grand final of the Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) at Portland, Oregon.

The CTWC revolves around the 1989 NES version of Tetris, which came out 13 years before Saelee was born. Saelee beat Neubauer to the top spot in a final 32-bracket seeded tournament, which took place on Sunday after a day of qualifying rounds.

The video, below, is the moment Saelee won the whole thing.

And here's direct feed footage:

For the main tournament, each match consists of up to three games, with the first player to win two games winning the match and going through to the next round. The players set their games to the rolled sequence and agreed upon level (15 or 18) and hit start at the same time. The player with the highest score wins.

Saelee, who took home $1000 in prize money as well as the CTWC trophy, may be young but has spent some time playing NES Tetris at a high level, publishing videos of his prowess on YouTube.

In September, Saelee achieved the first ever level 31 in the game, with an amazing 311 lines.

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About the Author

Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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