Rules 2020

 2020 CTWC – Official Format and Schedule

(Click here to read the Official CTWC Regional Tournament Rules).

Due to Covid-19, this year’s tournament will be ONLINE


Tournament Format

Player Requirements

  • Twitch stream
  • 13 years of age or older
  • Original NTSC NES console, Retron 1, or Retron 1 HD, and Tetris cart
  • Approved NES controller
  • Webcam
  • Lights on and illuminating player
  • Face, hands, and controller visible in shot
  • Microphone near player

Format Overview

October/November (Top 64):

  • Entry Fee – $50
  • Qualifying: Players will have 120 min. to stream score attempts (last game must begin within 120 min.)
  • Qualifying will use multiple max-out rule from past CTWCs
  • Top 64 scores will qualify for the tournament
  • The 64 seeds will be distributed into eight separate 8-seed double elimination tournament brackets (see graphic)
  • Players will not have the same RNG
  • All games will be level 18 start
  • All matches will be Best-of-Five
  • The winner of each tournament bracket will advance to the Main Event (Top 8) in December

December Main Event (Top 8):

  • Players will be reseeded based on their performance in the double elimination bracket
  • Main Event will be an 8-seed single elimination bracket
  • Players WILL have the same RNG
  • All games will be level 18 start
  • All matches will be Best-Of-Five
  • Prizes TBA

(Note: A more thorough explanation of rules and procedures will be available in August)


  • Sept 1st: Registration Opens
  • Oct. 9th: Registration Deadline
  • Oct. 12th – 18th: Qualifying
  • Oct. 31st: Brackets 1 & 2
  • Nov. 1st: Brackets 3 & 4
  • Nov. 7th: Brackets 5 & 6
  • Nov. 8th: Brackets 7 & 8

Sunday, Dec. 6th: Main Event

(Specific times TBA)


Official CTWC Regional Tournament Rules

Note: Schedule and Official Rules MUST be posted in an easy-to-find section of the hosting events website.

CTWC Regional Tournaments are played in 4 rounds:

  1. Qualifying Round
  2. Top 8 Round
  3. Semi-Final (Top 4) Round
  4. Final Round

Qualifying Round

During this round, competitors will play NES Tetris A-Type and try to get the highest score possible. The qualifying round will run for a period of time that will be clearly posted at the tournament venue. At the end of the qualifying round, players with the top 8 scores* will advance to the Top 8 round.

A designated group of NES machines will be used for the Qualifying Round. Players should line up, wait until they reach the front of the line, then take their place at one of the available NES consoles and start their game.

Each player is allowed to play a single game, starting on level 9 or higher. There is no “warm up” time allowed on the machines provided for the Qualifying Round. If a player starts on a level below 9, they will have one opportunity to reset the game and start on level 9 or higher.

When the player’s game is over, they can choose to submit their score to a tournament official or leave the score unrecorded. If they wish to submit their score, they should raise their hand to get the attention of a tournament official. The tournament official will then record their name and score. If the player wants to play another game, they must return to the back of the line.

* If two or more players have identical scores, (as may be the case with multiple players achieving the maximum score of 999,999) then the players’ 2nd-highest scores (and 3rd-highest, 4th highest, and so on as necessary) will be used to determine their positions on the leaderboard. Only officially submitted scores will be considered for tie-breaking purposes. Players must officially submit, at the time the score is achieved, any score that they want to be considered in the calculation of the official leaderboard ranking.

Top 8 Round, Semi-Final (Top 4) Round, and Final Round

Using the scores obtained during the Qualifying Round, the top 8 players are seeded in a single elimination tournament bracket as follows:

The remaining rounds consist of two player NES Tetris A-Type matches. Before the first game of each match, players will be given 1-2 minutes of “warm up” time. After the warm up time, the player with the higher seed will choose the starting level. The standard available starting level options for CTWC events are typically 15 and 18*. After the first game, players take turns choosing the starting level. When the players are ready, a tournament official will issue a 3-2-1 countdown, at which point the players will simultaneously begin their game by pressing start on their controller. Game play will continue until one of the following scenarios occurs:

  1. both players have topped out
  2. one player has topped out and the other player has a higher score

In either scenario, the player with the highest score wins the game. If both players obtain the maximum score of 999,999, the game will be replayed.

*Some Regional tournaments may allow players to start on levels as low as 9, depending on the anticipated skill level of the competitors and time available. Tournament officials will make this known at the tournament venue in advance.

Top 8 Round and Semi-Final (Top 4) Round Matches

These matches are best-of-3. The first player to win 2 games will advance to the next round.

Final Round Matches

The final match is best-of-5. The first player to win 3 games wins the tournament.

Equipment and Controllers

A group of NES consoles, NES Tetris carts, and NES controllers will be provided for competitors to play. Competitors can use the provided NES controller or bring their own controller. The controller can be any standard unmodified* original NES controller, any standard unmodified original NES “dog bone” style controller, or any standard unmodified “Goofy Foot” style controller. Tournament or CTWC officials may disqualify any controller other than those listed here (including but not limited to other 3rd party controllers, controllers with turbo features, etc), and any games played with those controllers, at any time.

*Any additional electronics will result in automatic disqualification. Controller maintenance (cleaning, swapping D-pads or buttons with original NES controller replacement parts, etc) is allowed and in most cases will not result in a disqualification. Any modifications may be evaluated by the tournament or CTWC officials and may result in a disqualification.