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Everything you need to know about the Classic Tetris World Championship

Everything you need to know about the Classic Tetris World Championship
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An overview of this year's tournament, which is online only due to Covid.

Everything you need to know about the Classic Tetris World Championship

The qualifying rounds are over, and the 8-bracket Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) top 64 event begins in earnest on Oct. 31. This year, the tournament will be online only due to COVID-19. Here's everything you need to know to get ready for the action.

How does the Classic Tetris World Championship work?

A total of 64 players, all of whom got the highest scores in the qualifying round, will duke it out for a spot in the top 8 on December 6.

Each bracket will be double elimination. Lose twice and you're out. Lose once and you'll have to fight through the loser's bracket. Beat the winner's side player twice in grand finals and you're in the top 8 at the main event.

All games are best of 5 and start at level 18.

How can I watch the Classic Tetris World Championship?

Anyone interested in watching the tournament can do so on the Classic Tetris YouTube channel, which currently has more than 150,000 subscribers. Expect new videos often if you're a Tetris aficionado looking for fresh content.

To watch the tournament live, tune in to the tournament's Twitch channel. The full schedule is online.

The action begins at 12:00 PM PT on Oct. 31. The Top 8 bracket will start at noon on December 6.

Nintendo Tetris screen. Source: Tetris.com - Millenium
Nintendo Tetris screen. Source: Tetris.com

Who is participating in the Classic Tetris World Championship?

The top 5 ranked players in the tournament:

  • Joseph "JdMfX_" Saelee, who won the tournament in the last two years. He's a heavy favorite.
  • EriclCX is a youngster who said he started taking Tetris seriously last year.
  • Third place goes to Tristop.
  • Dogplayingtetris is number four.
  • Finally, we have DaAsiann_ in fifth.

Check out the full list of participants here.

What equipment can players use for the Classic Tetris World Championship?

Because the tournament is online-only, there have been some changes this year. Players must have a Twitch stream and be 13 years or older. They can use either an original NTSC NES console, a RetroN 1 or RetroN 1 HD console, plus the Tetris NES cart.

They'll also have to use an approved NES controller, appear on a webcam during play, and keep their face, hands, and controller visible in a well-lit shot. The microphone must be near the player as well.

What's the history of the Classic Tetris World Championship?

The tournament was inspired by the 1990 Nintendo World Championship competition, according to the tournament's official website.

The modern tournament still uses the same NES equipment and parameters.

In 2009, a player named Harry Hong was the first to get the highest score possible of 999,999, also known as a max-out.

A filmmaker named Adam Cornelius made a short film about the endeavor, and with other Tetris masters, came up with the concept for the tournament.

The first Classic Tetris World Championship was held in Oregon at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in 2012. Every year the scores get higher, and this year is no different, despite it being online only.

No one knows what score will win the 2020 CTWC until the final blocks have fallen.

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