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New kid on the block

New kid on the block

Michelle Tedford May 04, 2021

Anna Duricy ’19 still doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. To her, Tetris is just a video game. To the Classic Tetris competition world, she is a gaming streaming sensation.

Tetris pieceIn October 2020, Duricy casually signed up for her first Tetris competition: the qualifying round of the 2020 Classic Tetris World Championships. All competition was remote, so she logged on to the streaming platform Twitch and started to play — and attracted a lot of attention. Duricy advanced to level 27 and racked up 850,832 points, enough to put her in the December world championships.

Duricy advanced to level 27 and racked up 850,832 points, enough to put her in the December world championships.

Also playing that weekend was her uncle Mike Duricy ’94, academic coordinator at UD’s International Marian Research Institute. It was Mike who first introduced Anna to Tetris, and the two made appearances in each other’s qualifying rounds.

Tetris pieceDespite the tournament outcome (see below), there has been a completely delightful result: The two now get together weekly to stream their Tetris games. Viewers can hear their pleasant conversation while one briskly taps the game controller. And the duo hear from their fans. “One girl told me I was an inspiration to her to start playing,” Anna Duricy said. “It is nice to be a brightness in someone’s day.”

  • As a child, Anna spent Christmases at Grandma’s watching Uncle Mike play Tetris on his Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • At 59, Mike was the oldest participant to make a serious attempt at qualifying. He was dubbed a “legend.”
  • “This was my first- ever tournament,” Anna said of the finals, “and I was so nervous that I lost impressively.”
  • Anna hopes to travel to Portland, Oregon, for the 2021 championship: “This is the nicest group of people. I’d like to meet everyone in person.”
  • Their streaming has become a family event. Relatives have even requested a time when they could gather and watch together.
  • Anna will graduate in May from UD with a master’s in computer science and begin working remotely for Novobi, a Texas-based digital solutions company.
To watch Anna and Mike play, follow them on Twitch at VinesandWillows and Infotechfellow, respectively.

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