Jonas Neubauer, a seven-time winner of the Classic Tetris World Championship and popular Twitch streamer, has died at the age of 39. According to messages posted to his Twitter profile and Discord, he died of "a sudden medical emergency" on January 5.
It’s with a heavy heart that we deliver the terrible news that Jonas has passed away from a sudden medical emergency. He was the absolute best. We are devastated, overwhelmed with grief, and we already miss him dearly.Information to follow when it becomes available.January 9, 2021
As Neubauer once told Tetris.com, he first got into Tetris after playing it on his uncle's Macintosh at the age of six or seven. "The simplicity of it intrigued me and I also enjoyed the fact that I was against the game itself and not another player", he said. "My older brothers were great at Chess and I never liked playing them."
Neubauer competed in and won the first Classic Tetris World Championship in 2010, and returned to win again in 2011, 2012, and 2013 before placing second in 2014. He came back to win three more times in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and also set two world records in 2018 for highest score, and fastest time to 300,000 points.
The Classic Tetris World Championship website described him as "an absolute pillar of positivity and humility", and you can see that on display in this footage following his loss in the 2018 grand final to 16-year-old newcomer Joseph Saelee.
Neubauer streamed some of his practice matches on Twitch to over 25,000 followers, as well as other games—from attempts to beat his personal best in Hades to live games of Dungeons & Dragons played around the table. His final upload shows him playing TETR.IO, a free Tetris fan game, with his wife Heather Ito beside him, chatting to his many fans.
Tributes to Neubauer have come from all over the internet, with Tetris grandmaster Tomohiro Tatejima describing "deep grief for this huge loss" and Spelunky designer Derek Yu saying, "The game and its fans couldn't have asked for a better champion."
The loss of Jonas Neubauer has left me and many in the Tetris community speechless. I tried my best to put together my thoughts on the tragedy. Sorry if it's hard to read-- I'm threw this together quickly through all of the emotions (1/3) pic.twitter.com/mAZkXJJGoeJanuary 9, 2021
Oh no... watching Jonas play Classic Tetris is how I got into it and became such a big fan. He was so funny and down-to-earth. The game and its fans couldn't have asked for a better champion. 💔 https://t.co/Ku2T6xXFhaJanuary 9, 2021
Rest In Peace, Jonas. pic.twitter.com/jlz5JfkD2kJanuary 9, 2021
Filled in deep grief for this huge loss. Absolutely he's the greatest ambassador of Classic Tetris. R.I.P. Jonas Neubauer pic.twitter.com/wUd9UobYoCJanuary 9, 2021