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“Watching these guys play against each other is like watching a group of gods get together to determine who has the most power at manipulating the patterns of the universe,” said, Tetris fan, Mitchell Weaver, of Portland, Oregon, with a theatrical flourish of the hand. “And he who keeps his cool and wrangles the bar best –the lightning bolt of Tetris- will win.”

As romantic as that sounds, and it is not without merit, war drums were more the feel at The Tetris World Championship, held Sunday, October 6, at The Portland Convention Center, in Portland, Oregon, where the best Tetris players in the world came to win.

Over 100 competitors vying for top placement arrived to test their composure and skills against the best the Tetris players the world has ever seen, sighing and cheering -sometimes giving into tears of frustration- as the 100 or so competitors were reduced to just eight in the semi-finals.

When thinking of Tetris, a game most often labeled as being a relaxing and somewhat pretty game, when played by the men and women of the competitive circuit, it is anything but. It is out and out war. For beneath the calm and composed surface of a competitive Tetris player, fitting the pieces as they fall faster and faster, underneath their expressions of smooth concentration, rages the explosive passion of an atomic bomb.

“I came here to win,” said, Jani Herlevi, of Finland, who traveled for the first time to the USA to compete against the world’s best players. “That’s all I care about right now. There is nothing left to say about it. I came to win. No matter what it takes.”

“All I have to say is, I feel sorry for what I am about to do to Jonas,” said, Tetris Finalist and decorated champion, Ben Mullen, of Minnesota, before facing off against Jonas Neubauer, winner of last 3 previous Tetris World Championships.

Mullen, giving Neubauer a real run for his money and making the usually über-composed Neubauer grimace with signs of unusual anxiety, was taken out by a misplaced piece on level 22 that disrupted his flow at a crucial moment in the game when corrective maneuvers were not within reach.

During the semi-finals the atmosphere became charged with energy palpable like an electric current passing through the crowd as the eight men battled, whittling the number down to just two players -Harry Hong, of and Jonas Neubauer. From the crowd you could see the nail-biting tension increase in their facial expressions, progressing to biting lips and hands cupped over mouths in awe, as Harry Hong gallantly and masterfully fought –and within a hair- missed taking the titan down. One misplaced piece. Just one single mistake…and the lightning bolt struck.

Neubauer became the 4th consecutive winner of The Tetris World Championship 2013.

“This championship was definitely the best tournament so far, in every way.” Neubauer said. “Very exciting. I felt very relieved to win and then, eventually, very happy. Also, this year was probably my most expressive in terms of showing emotion whilst playing. I know I broke my placid demeanor more than a few times.”

Cat DeSpira

Comment by Sisu on October 14, 2013, 11:21 am
"The gamers I covered are Twin Galaxies supporters and there were too many people unknown to me to keep everyone straight though I took a copious amount of notes...There was supposed to be 2 other people arriving to help me cover the event...Most writers would have bagged it at that point but I have a deep sense of duty to the gamers...Cheers, Cat"
Comment by mobuco on October 11, 2013, 6:19 am
Yeah they didn't feature us much, but both our names are on the cover of the DVD/posters/etc. I did come in 3rd in the 2010 tourney.
Comment by Integration on October 10, 2013, 11:06 pm
Actually, you are listed as cast on Wikipedia, but not on IMDb. As far as I remember, Trey and you didn't play the biggest roles in EoO.<br> <br>
Comment by mobuco on October 10, 2013, 12:56 pm
Yeah I asked Ryan when he changed his name. That and "Neibauer" and I am apparently not in Ecstasy of Order. But something is better than nothing, right?
Comment by Integration on October 10, 2013, 9:46 am
It's probably the only news that CTWC got :( The first picture's tagline says "Chad Muse and Josh Tolles", but it's definitely not Chad Muse. It should be Ryan Ritchie.

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