Not since its release has Tetris had more buzz. It all started with an incredibly impressive exhibition by Kevin Birrell on Tetris: The Grand Master 3 at this year’s AGDQ, where the general public learned that Tetris, and the people who play it, have gotten pretty fucking crazy. Hot off the heels of that exhibition, Birrell, better known as KevinDDR, has become the first player outside of Japan to achieve the almost impossible Grand Master ranking. It’s truly astounding. Birrell’s final run to become a grandmaster can be seen at this Twitch archive.
A little less impressive, but no less entertaining is this Buzzfeed short chronicling Eli Markstrom‘s return to competitive Tetris at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo’s tournament. No one’s clearing any invisible lines here, but the competition, a best two out of three for the highest score, is riveting, and Markstrom, a personal trainer who hasn’t played competitive Tetris in years, is definitely a character.