Tetris Finals: Joseph Saelee, age 16, beats seven-time world champion

Joseph Saelee

The Classic Tetris World Championships took place this weekend in Portland, Oregon.

The finals were between seven-time world champion Jonas Neubauer and 16-year-old Joseph Saelee, who only started playing in the past year. Joseph is one of many new players who began competing after watching Jonas’ Twitch stream. But even before the finals on Sunday, he stood out as the first player to ever reach level 31 in Classic Tetris, an accomplishment he reached in late September, and one that Jonas himself has not yet managed.

Joseph Saelee wins over Jonas Neubauer

Joseph won a decisive 3-0 victory over Jonas in the finals on Sunday, with some truly spectacular gameplay. In the first round, Joseph was ahead when Jonas lost. They quickly moved on to round two, where Joseph lost first and watched with bated breath as Jonas tried to make up enough points to take the lead. He couldn’t do it, and the second round went to Joseph as well. Round three was the most exciting of all. Jonas had a huge lead when he dropped out, and you could feel everyone in the room holding their breath as they watched Joseph fighting for every Tetris, trying to win enough points to take the victory. His win was truly impressive, and I highly recommend you give the three matches a watch.

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With his victory, Joseph joined the incredibly limited ranks of players such as Harry Hong. He’s the 2014 champion, and the only other person to have ever defeated Jonas since the Classic Tetris World Championships began in 2010. That brings the grand total of world champions to three, with Jonas still holding a commanding seven world championship titles. Impressive? Definitely. Joseph’s victory spells exciting things for the future of Tetris esports. I’m sure Jonas isn’t too disappointed by his loss. He’s often talked about how it would be good for the scene for someone else to take him down. Joseph isn’t the first to do it, but he might just be the start of a new trend.


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