Portland Retro Gaming Expo canceled, Classic Tetris World Championship in limbo

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced this year's Portland Retro Gaming Expo's cancellation, momentarily leaving the Classic Tetris World Championship without a home.


The Classic Tetris World Championship has become an annual tradition, one hosted every year by the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. There were some question marks heading into this year with Portland bumping up this year's show to August, two months earlier than its normal October date. However, a bigger problem has arisen. The continuing COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in this year's PRGE being canceled and momentarily left the CTWC homeless.

"It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that the 2020 Portland Retro Gaming Expo is cancelled due to the uncertainties associated with the Coronavirus pandemic," reads the Retro Gaming Expo website. "It was a very tough decision and was not made lightly. This is the first time in 15 years that we have ever even considered not having the event."

While such action appears to be premature, the post makes clear that because the show is run entirely as a non-profit, volunteer endeavor, the team has been unable to weather the COVID-19 storm. With Oregon being one of the hardest-hit states by the pandemic, it's become impossible to recruit volunteers and prepare them for the event.

So what does this mean for the Classic Tetris World Championship? Can two-time champion Joseph Saelee defend his crown this year? The Tetris team isn't throwing in the towel just yet. As recently as Monday morning, the team took to Twitter to affirm that a championship event will go down this year.

As with all things coronavirus, Shacknews will monitor this developing story. As soon as this year's CTWC finds a new home, we'll be sure to let everyone know.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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