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A 16 year old just became the new world champion of ‘Tetris’: VIDEO



Joseph Saelee (Tetris World Championship)
16-year-old Joseph Saelee
is the new world champion of “Tetris.”


  • There’s a new world champion of “Tetris”:
    16-year-old Joseph Saelee took the crown over the past
  • Saelee had tears running down his face as he celebrated; he
    didn’t expect to win the tournament.
  • The new “Tetris” world champion unseats long-running
    champion Jonas Neubauer, who was swept by Saelee.

Over 30 years ago, the first version of “Tetris” was created in
the Soviet Union. In 2018, the new world champion is just 16
years old — a young man born long after the game was created.

His name is Joseph Saelee, and he’s unbelievably good at the
beloved puzzle game.

That’s him above, defeating long-time “Tetris” champion Jonas
Neubauer at the World Tetris Championships last
weekend. Neubauer was the reigning champ for years, with
only one aberration in 2014 when he lost to another major
“Tetris” competitor — but no longer.

Now, Saelee is again the world champ — and Saelee didn’t even
intend to win the tournament.

“I came into this tournament just to qualify, just to meet all
these great people, and to win, that’s just amazing, I don’t know
what to say,” Saelee said after winning.

Joseph Saelee / Jonas Neubauer (Tetris World Championship)Twitch

The version of “Tetris” Saelee was competing in
looks ancient, and that’s because it’s the original Nintendo
Entertainment System version of the gaming classic. That version
of “Tetris” was first released in the mid-’80s, and features some
of the most restrictive gameplay in the series.

Notoriously, once a puzzle piece touches another (or the ground),
it can no longer be spun. More importantly for this competition,
however, is the particularity of how “Tetris” on NES handles
moving pieces horizontally while dropping.

If you push left on the d-pad and hold it down, the piece will
move to the left. But if you rapidly tap left on the d-pad, the
piece will move more quickly to the left — it’s a method known as
“hypertapping,” and it’s considered risky in the high-stakes
world of competitive “Tetris” as it requires maniacal tapping.

The reigning “Tetris” champ, Neubauer, was holding down d-pad
buttons. Saelee, however, was using the hypertap method. You can
see Saelee employing the method in this image:

Joseph Saelee (Tetris World Championships)
that’s not how you hold an NES gamepad!


It’s unclear if Saelee’s win comes with any monetary prize, but
it certainly comes with a heap of recognition. It’s easy to
understand why: Watching Saelee play “Tetris” is an incredible
sight to behold.

See the final match for yourself right here:

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