The fun of Tetris tournaments

Adam Rothstein
2 min readJan 19, 2021


When it comes to video game tournaments, Tetris tournaments might be the most famous of all. It is one of the simplest video games of all time. The first Tetris tournament was on August 3rd, 2010 in Los Angeles, California for the first two years. Today it is played in Portland at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo.

The Players play the 8-bit video game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, with old school 80s televisions. The two players then face off against each other in a head to head five-round tournament. Each game is played with modified cartridges that allow for seven-digit scores. For the first few tournaments, players played with unmodified cartridges.

Video game tournaments have been around since the 80s. It was nothing like today, as both players were usually not competing at the same time. The players competed on arcade machines. Only one player at a time could play if there was only one machine. Today, you can have a video game tournament anywhere, whether that’s on your TV, in an arcade, or on a portable device.

Even though the players are competing in front of a large crowd, it is still enjoyable for the players and the fans that watch the games. There is just something about watching those blocks spin, fall into place and see the rows being deleted. Perhaps the best part of the tournament is when two players have both of their boards nearly filled up, and the crowd is waiting for one of them to fall. Watching two players face off in a dog fight of a video game battle is one of the newest forms of entertainment. These tournaments give both the competitors and fans an outlet to enjoy one of their favorite video games.

While the competitors are passionate about Tetris, one of the main reasons people decide to enter the tournaments is the prize money. The prize money can range from $400 to $10,000. While this may not be life-changing, it is still definitely something to put in the bank when you win.

Tetris tournaments like sports are competitive and fun ways of being entertained. Although it’s nothing like watching the NFL or MLB, it is still something fun to watch. Many players don’t win, but they enter the tournaments because they love the game of Tetris, and it’s a fun way to earn money.