In the 1990 Nintendo World Championship competition, Tetris was the game to beat. The winner, Thor Aackerlund, is still seen by many as the best to have ever played.

Today’s Classic Tetris tournaments are played on that same version of Nintendo Tetris, using original NES game systems, controllers, and Tetris cartridges.

In 2009, a player named Harry Hong became the first to achieve the highest possible score of 999,999 points. Inspired by this achievement, filmmaker Adam Cornelius produced a short film about Harry called “Max-Out”, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to document the world of competitive Tetris.

As word of Adam’s Kickstarter campaign spread, rumors of max-out scores from other Tetris Masters began to surface, threatening the supremacy of Harry’s achievement. With the help of Nintendo World Championship veteran Robin Mihara, Adam searched for all of the Tetris Masters he could find. Jonas Neubauer emerged as an early max-out artist, along with the elusive original champ Thor Aackerlund. The idea of bringing these and other NES Tetris Masters together to compete in a live tournament became an obvious and irresistible proposition which was artfully captured in the 2010 feature length documentary Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

Under the leadership of Vince Clemente, Adam Cornelius, and Trey Harrison, The Classic Tetris World Championship is currently held at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, an annual event which has hosted the tournament since 2012. Chuck Van Pelt and his organizing committee have built the PRGE into the largest classic gaming expo in the country, drawing around 10,000 attendees.

Every year the scores get higher. Rivalries are revisited once again, and new players emerge to challenge the old guard. Over 150 players have maxed out the score now. Will you be the next?

We hope to see you there!


Notable Press


Teens are rewriting what is possible in the world of competitive Tetris Polygon

How Gen Z is pushing NES Tetris to its limitsEngadget


Experience: I’m The Best Tetris Player In The WorldThe Guardian

The Revolution in Classic TetrisThe New Yorker


13 year old defeats own brother to claim the Classic Tetris World Championship 2020All Gamers

The 2020 Classic Tetris World Championship proves its spot in the eSports world Fansided


Coverage of Chris Tang’s Presentation at The 2019 GDC Famitsu

Dr. Wayne Gray from RPI discusses CTWC with Science Friday Science Friday


This Bartender is Secretly the Greatest Tetris Player in the World Vice

How the Classic Tetris World Championships Became a Top Esports TournamentRedbull

US Teen is New Tetris World Champion BBC News

Why Tetris is One of the Most Compelling Esports in Recent MemoryInvenGlobal



Seven-time South Bay Tetris world champion builds Internet stardom brick by brick Press Telegram

10 games you could be playing professionally USA Today

Another Local Champion: Bo Steil Hutchinson Leader


Who Will Be Crowned The World’s Greatest Tetris Player Portland Monthly


CTWC 2015 recap Tetris.com


King of the Block: Meet the World’s Greatest Tetris Player  – Rolling Stone

“What It’s Like To Be A Tetris Master” – Buzzfeed


Playing to Lose – “How Competitive Tetris Players Approach an Unwinnable Game” – Chris Higgins (originally published in The Magazine)


King of the Blocks Willamette Week