16-Year-Old Tetris Prodigy Beats 7-Times World Champion

Even in an unconventional esport such as Tetris upsets are something to behold. During the Classic Tetris World Championship, Jonas Neubauer, the 7-times world champion lost to the new kid on the block. 16-year-old Joseph Saelee is a true Tetris prodigy who managed to beat out the champion in spectacular 3-0 fashion.

The Classic Tetris World Championship, or CTWC for short, revolves around the NES version of Tetris which was released in 1989. This means that Joseph Saelee, besides being a Tetris prodigy, was not even born when the game was first released, precisely speaking, it’s 13 years older than him. Although this might seem trivial, it has given the 16-year-old a huge advantage during the tournament as he played the game differently from the players that have been in the scene for years. Instead of holding down the D-pad button to rotate the blocks, he very quickly taps it instead so that the blocks rotate at a rapid speed.

The finals was a best of 5 managed which Saelee won by going for a perfect 3-0. During the last round, he was behind quite a bit and was not getting a lot of bars which meant that it was hard for him to get a Tetris. Fortunately for Saelee, he possesses some insane skill and somehow managed to play long enough until he managed to score a Tetris which nearly instantly won him the match.

Commentators also predict that Joseph Saelee’s victory also means that the stagnating Tetris scene is about to shake up drastically, especially considering that the kid has not even played Tetris for a serious amount of time, unlike the previous World champion. According to them, an entirely new meta may rise based around Saelee’s way of playing the game which means that future tournaments could be way more interesting to watch.

It’s quite interesting to see how Tetris is still evolving together with its players. Compared to most esports out there the NES version of Tetris never changed yet commentators predict that the victory that was achieved by Saelee will completely change how the game is played.

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