The first season of the Madden Championship ended with Skimbo hoisting the belt high as the best Madden player in the world.
This season, the stakes are higher and the competition is even more fierce. But Skimbo is ready to defend his championship against all contenders.
We caught up with Skimbo before the Madden Classic kicked off to find out how he’s prepping for a repeat run.
How did you first start playing Madden?
I first started playing pickup games with the boys in college, and they would tell me, “Yo Skim, you’re really, really good.” And I’d be like, “what do you think I should do?” We looked up some tournaments online and we found one, and that’s when I drove to Atlanta for my first tournament. That was kind of where it started.
What’s your earliest gaming memory with Madden?
Being a rookie, going to Atlanta, no one knew who I was, and beating the best player at the time, Los, who just got off winning two events. That really put me on the map. Ever since then, I’ve never looked back.
What was it like to win your first tournament?
My first tournament win ever at a live event was in Dallas, two or three years ago. I went in there and beat everyone, I actually beat my rival Mo in the semi-finals, which meant a lot to me. Then I ended up taking everyone else down.
How did you make the jump to competitive Madden?
At that time in my life, I had the chance to take a year off and with all the money they gave out, I decided at 24 or 25 that I was just going to go after it. I thought, “if it doesn’t work out, so what? I have the rest of my life to do something else well.” It just so happened that it worked out pretty well.
How did you first start making improvements as a Madden player?
Just grinding those leaderboard games. I think the best thing EA ever did is come out with these leaderboard games. Normally, I would only play 2-3 games a day and would get good off that with some lab, but now I play anywhere from 10-12 games a day. (*ED NOTE: players refer to practice as “being in the lab”) And I can honestly say from the leaderboards that it’s made me into a very good Madden player.
What was the biggest jump in your Madden career?
For me, it was honestly when I won the belt. If you look through my history, I came close so many times. And to finally just win one, it just took me over. Then I went to North Carolina and won, went to NYC and won, and I’m starting to just roll off with them now. I said in my interview, “I feel like now I got the monkey off my back, I feel like I might roll a couple off now.” So far, I’ve done that, and hopefully coming back at the Madden Classic I can do that.
What’s something about you that people might not know?
I will have a vanilla Coke and a Reese’s every day of my life. It’s how I start my day, it’s a mindset.
What are your practice rituals?
For me, it’s just about getting on the sticks and playing, either against Dubby or Boogz, or on the leaderboards. I will sit there and grind for literally, 10-12 hours a day, just trying to perfect my craft. I am a perfectionist in Madden, I put a lot of stress on me. Every time I lose a game, I think about: why did I get turned over? Why did they score on me? Why am I on fourth down?
I will always break down every game before I jump into a new game. Why did this happen and how can I prevent it?
How much do you practice?
I lab probably, during full Madden Season, about 10-12 hours a day. I work on all my passing, how to break down each coverage in the game, and also on defense, how to find good blitzes. I work on my user control and figure out how zones work during certain route combinations.
What was it like to win the first Madden Championship?
It means a lot to me. I’m big on history, me being the only guy to be at every major since 2016, I’m huge on chasing history. And now with winning that, no one’s ever won two belts before. So now that’s the goal.
What should we expect from you in season two?
I’m still me. I’m going to throw the ball, I’m going to send heat, I’m not running the ball. Something to look for? Get ready, because I’m throwing it up.
Tune in for the Madden Classic, starting at 2:30pm EST on Friday, October 20th!
Watch on EASPORTS.com, Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Live, Mixer and @EASPORTS_MUT on Twitter.
Stay in the conversation of all things EA: Read our blog, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook