Sweat beading down his brow as hundreds of steps and scenarios fly through his head. This was it. He is part of the final two left in this all out warfare, one misstep and it was all over. Approaching 45 minutes of pure, uninterrupted focus and after the fall of 99 other contestants, it was almost all too familiar. Being a champion at the craft, 23 year-old Jacob Halley or as he’s known online J-Spin, has been stacking shapes since he was 10.
Fingers moving at light speed and graphics flashing across the screen, he could begin to feel his opponent cracking under the pressure. A quick peek at the enemy’s column would reveal his stack was dangerously nearing the top of the screen, meaning elimination. This is his chance. Ignoring the calls from his mom in the other room, quickly maneuvering the shapes across the screen with ease. More flashes from the screen as the pieces click into shape and finally all the rows flash from the screen, he did it. He came out on top.
“Thanks for moving around your shift at Chick fil a for this interview. Really appreciate it.”
“Yeah no problem, I’ll always have time for the fans.”
“Uhh, sure. So tell me a little about Tetris and why it’s the game of your choice?”
“Tetris is not just a game, it’s a way of life. It’s almost become natural to me, like breathing. When I play Tetris I feel like it’s an extension of myself. When I move the blocks I feel like I have control over my life.”
“Okay… wow. So your name J-Spin you said was inspired by a special move in the game?”
“Ahh yes, the T-Spin. An essential tool to victory that only true Tetris savants can execute. Performing such a maneuver, you must take into account the velocity of the shape and the space you have to work with. Obviously with a trained eye like mine it’s very easy.”
“Right… so how does one perform this special move?”
“Let me put it into simple terms you and your readers could understand. So when dealing with the T-shaped block spinning it as it is descending can allow it to fit into harder to reach places that the casual Tetris player may think is off limits.”
“I’m sure you’ve spent time practicing the T-Spin, are there any other things you do to practice?”
“You know a lot goes into practicing for a sport that is as strenuous as competitive Tetris, it really takes a toll on your body,” he said, flexing his arms to little amazement.
“I usually start my workout with some wrist and thumb stretches to maximize my gaming performance. Then I mix myself up some G-Fuel, please sponsor me, and sit down at my set up and grind for a few hours online. I have to get a few more hours in than the average competitive player since there’s very little competition for me out there.”
“I mean when I was watching you before you dropped a few gam-”
“That was my controller! I’ve been meaning to get a new one, it’s falling apart when I play! And I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night so I’m not playing my best today that’s all!”
“Okay, okay, alright. So one last question. What advice would you give to people who are looking to get into competitive Tetris?”
“Some people are just born with talent like me, so don’t get your hopes up. Tune into my streams and watch a pro handle the shapes and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two.”