NES Rules   Format:  8-bit Nintendo Tetris (not Tengen).

You are allowed to bring your own original standard unmodified NES controller. Aftermarket controllers and parts are allowed as long as they are faithful reproductions of the original design.

Qualifying Round (Saturday, Oct. 20th)

  • Qualifying round will be held on Saturday in the free-play area at 8 NES Stations from 10AM-3:45PM (“last game” will be announced at 3:45PM, and all games in progress may be completed at that time).
  • Entry fee is $20. Once paid, entrants can make as many qualifying attempts as they are willing to stand in line for. NES stations will be available to rent for one period of one hour for an additional fee (for more info, see NEW RULES below).
  • Qualifying attempts will be on type A Tetris for highest score starting on level 9 or higher.
  • Once an entrant’s game is over for any reason, they must make sure their score is recorded by a scorekeeper and then return to the back of the line for another attempt.
  • The Qualifying Round will determine the seeding of a 40-player tournament bracket.
  • Note: CTWC-approved Qualifying Events are held around the world in the year preceding the CTWC (see Global). The winners of these events may automatically qualify for placement in the bracket if the following conditions are met: 1) The Qualifying Event must be a NTSC NES Tetris competition, and 2) The winner must have qualified at the Qualifying Event with a score of 700,000 or above.
  • Qualifying Event winners who meet the above criteria are “Auto Qualifiers”.
  • In the unlikely event that an Auto Qualifier is unable to achieve a top 40 score during the Qualifying Round, they will be automatically seeded at the bottom of the bracket, displacing any players in those positions.
  • At 4PM, seeds 25-40 will compete in a “Round Zero” to advance to the 32-player tournament bracket Main Event on Sunday. Here’s the bracket we’ll be using. Matches will follow the same rules as Round 1 (see below).

MAIN EVENT (Sunday, Oct. 21st)

The tournament will continue on Sunday morning with a five-round, 32-player seeded tournament bracket based on the results of qualifying and the winners of Round Zero.

  1. Each match consists of up to 3 games. First player to win 2 games wins the match and proceeds to the next round.
  2. The higher-seeded player in each match will choose the starting level of 15 or 18 for game 1. The lower seed will choose for game 2, and if necessary, the higher seed will choose for game 3. (Starting level during rounds 2-5 will always be 18).
  3. Once the starting level is chosen, the ref will roll dice to determine the piece sequence.
  4. The players will set their games to the rolled sequence and the agreed upon level and push start simultaneously at the prompt of the referee. Referees will settle any disputes.
  5. The player with the highest score wins. If one player tops-out and the other player already has a higher score, the game is finished. If one player tops-out and the other player has a lower score, that player will continue until they either top-out (having lost) or exceed the other player’s score, winning the game.
  6. If a player pauses the game or causes the machine to malfunction (e.g. yanking on controller) they will lose that game. If the console or TV malfunctions on its own and the player is within 300k points of their opponent the game will be replayed.

The tournament will consist of five rounds. The final round (round 5) will be first to win 3 games (best 3 out of 5). Grand Prize will be $1000, Runner-up will receive $500.


Tetris the Grandmaster has been cancelled this year. We may have a TGM game available to host some exhibition matches between our Grandmaster level players!

Note: SNES has been cancelled this year for space considerations. We will have SNES hooked up for those who’d like to stop by and play!




This year there will be 6 NES stations available for blocks of uninterrupted qualifying attempts. Each player has the option to reserve a station for one hour for an additional fee of $20. At the player’s scheduled time, they can play for one full hour.  No resetting allowed.

Players who choose to rent stations may also stand in line for additional attempts throughout the rest of the Saturday qualifiers.

Sign-ups for rental stations will begin on Monday, October 16th at noon Pacific time.  Visit the sign-up sheet to reserve your spot.

This is an exciting opportunity for our contestants to post a great score and still have time to enjoy the amazing PRGE expo!


In the event of multiple max-outs during qualifiers, those seeding ties will be broken by 2nd best score of the day. If multiple players score 2 max-outs, ties will be broken by 3rd highest score of the day, and so on.

New Rankings Calculation Method (NES)

There is a slight change in the Final Rankings Method.  Final Rankings will now be determined by, in order of importance, 1.) round advanced to, 2.) games won in losing match, 3.) combined score of the two losing scores in the losing match.  (this eliminates the possibility of being penalized for winning a game with a very low score)