This week, 16 competitors who can call themselves the best competitive Madden players in the world will assemble at EA SPORTS’ broadcast center for the Madden 19 Championship Series season finale, the Madden Bowl.
The victor will emerge as the definitive Madden 19 Champion, take home one of those shiny, bejeweled, and coveted MCS belts, and walk away $40K richer (that’s the lion’s share of the tourney’s $200K prize pool). Perhaps no other EA Major event has the weight or storied history of the Madden Bowl. And it’s nearly time to etch another competitor’s name into MCS lore.
That said, you’re probably wondering how you can watch the tournament? We covered that already in our How To Watch post, but here’s the CliffNotes version: April 25-27 the Madden Bowl will be streaming on EAMaddenNFL’s Twitch, with the championship game airing both on Twitch and ESPN2 the evening of April 27. See the full broadcast schedule here.
Since the Madden Bowl is the culmination of all of the MCS EA Majors this season, the field is as good as it gets, the best of the best who have qualified via their performances at Majors throughout the year. Yep, the defending Madden Bowl champion, Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen will be there, as will Madden 19 Classic champion Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo. That covers two previous MCS belt winners of the six in the field of 16. So, take some time to get to know these competitors, as you’ll be seeing a lot of them over the next few days, and they’re going to be showing off world-class Madden 19 gameplay.
Seed 1: Pavan “Pavan” Lakhat
Pavan became the youngest competitor to win an EA Major back in February when he took home the Madden 19 Club Championship title along with $100,000. The 18-year-old dominated at his first EA Major appearance and is poised to build upon his success at the Madden Bowl. Pavan's Club Championship victory should lend him the confidence he needs for a potential second belt, and he remains a key competitor to watch, especially in the Bowl’s MUT Salary Cap format.
Seed 8: Jordan “Canes” Powell
Canes is an MCS veteran with two top-10 finishes in EA Majors dating back to the MCS17 campaign. More recently, he enjoyed a fifth-place finish at the Madden 19 Classic and has represented the Chicago Bears at the Madden Club Championship live finals for two consecutive seasons. He was knocked out of the Madden 19 Challenge during group stage play, but the MUT Draft format of that tournament presents different challenges than that of Salary Cap mode. Still, Canes has nothing to hang his head about in regard to his performances at Majors this season, and he’ll look to bounce-back at the Bowl.
Seed 9: Stephen “VYElectrify” Appelblatt
Perhaps one of the bigger shocks at the Madden 19 Challenge was VYElectrify’s advancement to the semifinals (where he was defeated by Drini). After going 1-2 in Group Stage play, he dominated in single-elimination with big wins against Crush (30-7) and Joe Rice (23-6). Somehow, VYElectrify seems to know more than most competitors about his foes in the MCS; his knowledge of others’ playstyles runs deep and his ability to attack the weaknesses of his opponents is unmatched. We’ll soon find out if he can apply some of that wisdom for a successful run at the Bowl.
Seed 16: Kevin “Sixth Sense” Jones
One of the final two competitors to qualify for the Bowl, Sixth Sense earned his seat at the Last Chance Qualifier. The 23-year-old has just missed some MCS live events in the past as he made the final four at both the Madden 18 Colts Club Championship and the Madden 19 Ravens Club Championship. He also had a respectable 25th place finish and the Madden 17 Challenge. But Sixth Sense finally broke through making a dramatic second-half comeback against Musafa Jones at the LCQ to lock up his Madden Bowl seat. Now he finds himself battling for a share of that $200k prize pool alongside some tough competition.
Seed 4: Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo
All you really need to know about Skimbo is that he stands as the only Madden competitor to win three MCS-era belts and is the back-to-back Madden Classic champion, a feat never before accomplished in MCS majors until he did it last December. You might remember Skimbo behind the caster’s desk during the Madden 19 Club Championship, basically the Tony Romo of competitive Madden broadcasts. He’s a master at breaking down defensive coverages and has a knack for predicting what his opponent is going to do on any given play. He runs a pass-first offense, and the Lazarus gaming pro has a real chance to earn what would be an unprecedented fourth belt at the Bowl.
Seed 5: Ryan “ibestrafing” Danczak
Another seasoned veteran of the MCS circuit, ibestrafing was the runner-up at the Madden 19 Club Championship, capping an incredible run during that tournament. He also advanced to the Round of 16 at the Madden 19 Classic before falling to Blocky. The Dot City Gaming pro was last seen in an unknown body of water, allegedly in the South Pacific, explaining to a group of youngsters his dilemma regarding Calvin Johnson or John Ross for his Salary Cap squad. We’ll soon find out which WR he’s going with and whether or not the decision pays off for him at the Bowl. Based on the Math teacher’s strong MCS 19 run, he’s got a serious chance to walk away with the Bowl belt.
“And that, kids, is why I’m trying to decide between John Ross or Calvin Johnson” pic.twitter.com/8O1sp06c5S— ibestrafing (@ibestrafing) April 9, 2019
Seed 12: Michael “Spoto” Spoto
Despite being one of the youngest players in the competitive Madden circuit, Spoto has some solid live event experience under his belt. He made the Madden 19 Challenge live finals, where he advanced to the quarterfinal round before getting knocked out by the tourney’s eventual champion, Chritobin. Spoto also represented the Indianapolis Colts at the Madden 19 Club Championship live finals, and he placed fifth at his first EA Major, the Madden 18 Classic, last season. The 17-year-old from Staten Island will look to build his resume with a berth at the Bowl but now finds himself in a tough group alongside heavy hitters like Skimbo and ibestrafing, so it could be tough sledding.
Seed 13: Douglas “Crush” Thiel
After falling to Raidel “Echo Fox Joke” Brito in one of the most memorable games of the Madden 19 Club Championship, Crush advanced to the Madden 19 Challenge wild card round, which earned him enough points for a seat at the Bowl. The 20-year-old cashed in at the Madden 19 Classic last December and earned top-40 finishes in the Madden 18 Challenge and Classic. His consecutive appearances at MCS Majors this season definitely demand respect. There’s a chance that all the experience he’s gained this year on the big stage leads to a deep run at the Bowl.
Seed 3: Abbott “Blocky” Lopez
Blocky rose up the MCS ranks during the Madden 18 Club Championship, where he advanced to the quarterfinal round. He then advanced to the semifinal round at the Madden 18 Bowl and has had strong performances at MCS majors ever since, including a semifinal berth at the Madden 19 Classic as well as the Madden 19 Club Championship. Always calm, cool, and collected, Blocky is a true force on defense. Somewhat underrated due to his low-key demeanor, Blocky is not a player who should be overlooked as a true contender at this season’s Bowl.
Seed 6: Hassan “Gos” Spall
At the Madden 19 Club Championship, Gos defended his title all the way into the semifinal round where he was defeated by the tournament's runner-up, Ryan “ibestrafing” Danczak. Still, that performance is what ultimately locked up GOS’s spot at this season’s Bowl. He didn’t fare so well at the Madden 19 Challenge, going 0-3 in Group Stage play. But he's on a mission for another MCS belt and has already defeated Drini in a live EA Major setting this season, solidifying him as a favorite to bring home the Madden Bowl victory.
Seed 11: Christian “Chritobin” Lomenzo
The Madden 19 Challenge was Chritobin's first EA Major appearance, and he walked-off in overtime with a tournament victory, defeating defending champion, Drini. But the Challenge was MUT Draft mode, so there’s some variation that Salary Cap will bring to the table at the Bowl. Still, as one of the five MCS belt winners in the Bowl’s field of 16 finalists, Chritobin needs to be taken seriously as a contender to win it all.
Seed 14: Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen
Last year's Madden Bowl champion (and Madden Challenge runner-up) saw an early exit in the Madden 19 Classic and fell to Tyler “TDavis” Davis in a Round of 16 thriller at the Madden 19 Club Championship live finals. Young Kiv forged ahead with another EA Major berth at the Madden 19 Challenge but was defeated by Drini in a nail-biter during the Wild Card round. For the Bowl, Young Kiv finds himself in a group alongside two MCS belt winners, and Blocky who, as mentioned above, had a run of three straight semi-final appearances at EA Majors dating back to the Madden 18 Bowl.
Seed 2: Drini “Drini” Gjoka
Drini over the last year has cemented his status as a true force to be reckoned with in live tournaments, continuing the success he enjoyed as an MCS rookie a season ago. The young competitor, who is signed with Complexity, won the Madden 18 Challenge and was the runner-up at the Madden 18 Bowl. Since, he’s advanced to the quarterfinal round at the Madden 19 Classic (defeated by Skimbo), represented the Dallas Cowboys at the Madden 19 Club Championship live finals (defeated by Gos in the Round of 16), and advanced to the Madden 19 Challenge championship game (defeated by Chritobin). There’s something to say about a competitor who has only been knocked out of EA Majors this season by MCS belt-winners. There’s no question that Drini has what it takes to win it all.
Seed 7: Justin “LilMan” Barone
LilMan's second-place finish at the Madden 19 Classic guaranteed him a spot at the Madden Bowl, and it was a great way to start the season. He's been around competitive Madden for a while, though we didn't see much of him during the MCS18 season. He finished ninth at the Madden 17 Club Championship and 13th at the Classic the same year, so he has experience on the big stage, which could go a long way in terms of his performance at the Bowl. Either way, he's done well for himself this season and will look to add a coveted MCS belt to his resume when all is said and done.
Seed 10: Reginald “Boogz” Brown
Boogz put himself back on the MCS Major radar with a Madden 19 Challenge finals berth, after a slow Madden 18 tournament season. The competitive Madden veteran made all four MCS 17 majors and placed top-10 in every single one of them, raking in $42,500 in the process. The Atlanta native showed what he’s capable of by advancing all the way to the Madden 19 Challenge semifinal round before being knocked out by eventual tournament champion, Chritobin. Boogz is still hunting for his first MCS belt, but his live event experience should boost his confidence and quell any nerves when on the big stage at the Bowl.
Seed 15: Nakell “SomeSerious” Powell
SomeSerious landed on the radar this season as the Titans Club Champion, and followed up with a strong showing at the Madden 19 Club Championship live finals where he advanced to the Round of 16. He fought his way into the Madden Bowl by earning one of the two slots still up for grabs at the Last Chance Qualifier. He finds himself in a tough group with some MCS veterans, but anything can happen in competitive Madden! According to SomeSerious' Twitter account, he knows he's an underdog, but he's using that tag as motivation.
— Matt Franciscovich (Follow Matt on Twitter @MattFranchise)
For more information on the Madden Championship Series and how to compete in future events, visit the Madden NFL 19 compete homepage. Keep it locked on the @MaddenLeagueOps Twitter handle for content, news updates, tournament coverage, and more.