The Pinball WC ends in dramatic fashion

The World Pinball Championship is decided by the slimmest of margins as #1 ranked player Escher Lefkoff wins on the last ball in the final round.

Pinball’s Open IFPA World Championship is decided, with Escher Lefkoff winning on the last ball in the final round after his ball had already drained. To say that the World Pinball Championship was decided in dramatic fashion would be an incredible understatement. It is difficult to imagine a closer ending. While pinball may not have the audience it used to, this is a great example of why pinball can be just as exciting as other competitive video game esports.


Like all eSports, pinball has an incredible history of competition. Within the IFPA, there is no one as well recognized as Keith Elwin. Elwin has reached the top four in pinball championships 18 times, with the recent 4-way Open IFPA World Champion his 19th. However, Elwin faces increasingly talented competition. What would be considered the current #1 ranked pinball player Escher Lefkoff had also reached the final four of the Open IPFA World Championship, looking to become World Champion for the second time.

RELATED: Impressive Stranger Things Pinball Machine Revealed

The state of play in Lefkoff’s last game was terrible. Lefkoff had a deficit of 1,000,000 points to Elwin, who appeared to be guaranteed to take the tournament. But Lefkoff rose to the occasion. Lefkoff was closing in on Elwin’s score when the worst happened, his ball draining with no way to stop it. Despite the fact that the ball was no longer in play, Lefkoff’s game was not over. the pinball they played, Flash Gordon, granted a bonus after the round. The crowd watched as the bonus narrowly edged Lefkoff’s score over Elwin’s, giving him a 5.4,000 point victory.

The scores for the final round of the Open IFPA World Championship were 1,498,590 for Elwin and 1,504,050 for Lefkoff. Lefkoff had won by just 0.3% of the total score. Virtually any other single action during his round would have put Elwin on top. It was a brilliant finish, the thinnest of margins, and what can be seen as one of the best pinball games ever.

It is unclear exactly what the prize pool for The Open IFPA World Championship is. There might be a NIB Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Premium cabinet involved, on top of a trophy and the World Championship title. It’s unlikely that anyone will get rich playing pinball, even winning major tournaments, but hopefully Lefkoff will be well rewarded.

Those looking to see pinball competition at a high level will not have to wait long for the IFPA’s next big tournament. The D82 Winter 3X Certified Main Event is scheduled for February 17th through February 19th. A live stream of the event will be broadcast on the Fox Cities Pinball channel on Twitch. Expect more information closer to the event. Hopefully, Lefkoff’s win will help bring a new audience to these incredible pinball tournaments.

MORE: How Frosty Pop took Pinball Wizard from Apple Arcade to Steam and Switch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *