2020 Classic Tetris World Championship will be held Online

The 2020 Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) will happen online. Since this tournament is online, the format will be different from their in-person tournament. Obviously, there will not be an in-person tournament this year because of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Here’s a Brief Breakdown of the Schedule

  • October 12-18: Qualifying
  • Saturday, October 31: Top 64 Double Elimination Brackets 1 & 2
  • Sunday, November 1: Top 64 Double Elimination Brackets 3 & 4
  • Saturday, November 7: Top 64 Double Elimination Brackets 5 & 6
  • Sunday, November 8: Top 64 Double Elimination Brackets 7 & 8
  • Sunday, December 6: Top 8 Single Elimination (Update 12/4/20: The Top 8 have been determined, learn more about the players here.)

Format of the 2020 Classic Tetris World Championship

In the Qualifiers, players have 2 hours to make unlimited attempts to get a high score. The Top 64 will advance to the Double-Elimination Rounds and will be seeded.

In the Playoffs, each match is a Best of 5 with each game starting at Level 18. The Top 64 rounds are a series Double Eliminations and Top 8 rounds are Single Elimination.

For the Top 64 Playoffs, players placed among 8 separate Double Elimination Brackets. Unlike previous tournaments, players will NOT be playing with the same piece sequences. The winner of each bracket will advance to the Top 8.

CTWC 2020 Double Elimination Bracket
1 of 8 Double Elimination Brackets used for the 2020 CTWC.

Top 8 playoffs will be a single elimination tournament. Players are reseeded based on their Top 64 Performance.

Most of the specific factors for the reseeding process are currently unknown. But the first criteria has been revealed, which is whether a player lost a match or not.  A bracket winner that loses a match, will likely receive a lower seeding rank in the Top 8.

Update (11/13/20): Those players were reseeded based on the following, in order of importance:

  1. Fewer Matches Lost
  2. Fewer Games Lost
  3. Highest Average Losing Score
  4. Highest Qualifying Score

The Top 8 players will receive the tournament cartridge which will allow them to compete against each other with the same piece sets.

If you want to compete at the 2020 CTWC, please refer to their Official Rules for the online tournament.

For those that compete at the Classic Tetris Monthly, keep in mind that this is an official NES Tetris Tournament. This means that the player requirements are stricter than the monthly tournaments.

What were the original plans before the Pandemic?

For the 2020 CTWC, the plan was to have an in-person tournament happen at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in August 14-16. However, the expo was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. And now, the CTWC will be holding an online tournament.

Final Thoughts

One thing I was concerned about with having the online tournament, was that players would not be playing with the same piece sets. If you do not know what that is, check out this video.

The Top 64 rounds will not be using the same piece sets, but I do not think it would be a big problem. Since those rounds will be Double-Elimination with best of 5 matches, a player would have multiple games to dominate the tournament even if one or two of their games gives them nasty droughts that their opponent did not get.

Fortunately, the Top 8 will be using same piece sets.

I was also concerned about players being able to cheat in an online format. But the organizers were able to take care of that with their stringent player requirements. These requirements include a webcam that shows your face, hands, and controller with lights shining on you. So make sure you look as good as Jim Halpert or Pam Beesly when you play. Or not, they just want to see you on camera.

Other requirements includes, having a microphone near you so that we can hear you beg the game for a long bar. But also to prevent cheating.

With all that said, I look forward to watching these events live on their Twitch channel. Be sure to follow them on Social Media @ClassicTetris. Check out the video below, to hear the organizers’ perspective behind the 2020 CTWC.

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