Classic Tetris World Championship Returns To An In-Person Event

2019 CTWC Finals
Source: @ClassicTetris Facebook

The 2022 Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) returns to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. It will be an in-person event on October 14-16.

The format for the 2022 CTWC is similar to the 2019 tournament, which was the last in-person event. There will be a qualifying round, with the Top 48 advancing to the playoffs.

(Update 9/28/2022: In qualifying, players will have 2-hour session to make unlimited qualifying attempts. In the Main tournament, all matches will be Best of Five. All games will start at Level 18.)

Qualifying (Friday-Saturday)

The qualifying round is In-Person. Unlike the last in-person tournaments, players will NOT be waiting in line to get their chance to play a game. Instead, there will be rental stations with players reserving time slots that allow them to play as many games as possible within that time frame.

Players will get a 2-hour session to make unlimited qualifying attempts.

The seeding ranks will still use the multiple Maxout rules, where the rankings are determined by the number of Maxouts, with the highest Non-Maxout score (Kicker) used as a tiebreaker.

In the past, all of the qualifying sessions happened on a Saturday. This time, the organizers allocated Friday for qualifying. That will allow for more time for match play on Saturday.

After qualifying ends, the Top 48 players advance to the Tournament bracket.

2022 CTWC Tournament Begins (Saturday-Sunday)

The Top 48 players get seeded in a single-elimination bracket. All matches are a Best of Five. The Knockout rounds begin on Saturday. On Sunday, the remaining 16 players compete to become the next Tetris World Champion.

Accommodating The Rolling Matches

Rolling Demonstration
Source: aGameScout

Over a year ago, a new technique, called Rolling, was discovered, where players hit the back of the controller towards their hand on the other side of the controller. This technique is easier and faster than hypertapping the D-Pad with one finger.

The Rolling technique has allowed players to play well beyond Level 29, known as the Kill Screen. For some background, Level 29 is where the Tetris pieces drop so fast that it becomes nearly impossible to move pieces horizontally with the implemented auto-shift mechanic.

With Rolling, players had games that lasted as long as 37 minutes, from a Level 18 start. That created a unique problem for CTWC organizers because each game could last longer than 6-9 minutes, which was the average game length in previous CTWC events. To fix this issue, organizers banned Mullens in their matches. A Mullen is when a player continues to play their game after they have already won. The term originated from the 2017 tournament where a commentator encouraged competitor Ben Mullen to go for the first Maxout in a CTWC match despite having won the game already.

The organizers accommodated the Rolling matches by allocating Friday and part of Saturday for qualifying rather than doing it all on Saturday, which allowed them to have more tournament matches played on Saturday.

It significantly decreased the number of matches that have to happen on Sunday, from 31 to 15. With the Top 16 players remaining in the tournament instead of the Top 32.

For more information on how Rolling has affected match lengths, check out aGameScout’s video.

Final Thoughts

This year, we can expect competitors to play well past Level 29. For the first time in 3 years, the In-Person audience is back to witness these players compete against each other to become the next Tetris World Champion.

Additional information

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