Joseph Saelee Becomes Back-To-Back Tetris World Champion

TJ Denzer,

October 21, 2019 8:10 AM

The Classic Tetris World Championship 2019 saw last year's new champ Joseph Saelee take it again in an incredible weekend of competition.

At 2018’s Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC), everything seemed to be going as usual. 7-time world champion Jonas Neubauer looked set to take it all for another big win. And then chaos ensued in the form of 16-year-old prodigy Joseph Saelee, who was able to find the rhythm and lines he needed to defeat Neubauer and claim his first-ever Tetris World Championship trophy. In 2019, Saelee came back to show he wasn’t one-and-done, and in a stellar weekend of competition, he proved it to score his second CTWC victory in a row.

The 2019 CTWC took place at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo on the weekend of October 19 and 20. A number of strong contenders were there, including Neubauer, Tomohiro “Greentea” Tatejima, Koji “Koryan” Nishio, European champion Svavar Gunnarsson, Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, and many more. At the end of the road in the competition, 2018 champion Joseph Saelee came up against Koryan.

In a tight match that saw it come down to the very last game in a set of five, both players gave it their all, but Joseph eked out the final match between them with near machine efficiency. The champ kept his board controlled and clear all the way down to the last line to take the championship after Koryan barely missed some very crucial block placements.

It was a wild Sunday of impressive players - A crop so strong that Jonas Neubauer who has never missed a top 3 appearance in about a decade, was knocked in out in the top 32 for a shocking upset. For any fans of the classic block-dropping game, it’s a must-watch. Fortunately if you missed it, much of the CTWC 2019 competition is available in VODs over on the Classic Tetris Twitch channel.

A big congrats to Joseph Saelee, as well as a hand to 2nd place Koryan and all other competitors that made it another year worth of competition to remember. GG.


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