A true dark horse competing at his very first EA Major live event, 20-year-old Christian “Chritobin” Lomenzo rose to the top of the MUT Draft format bracket and became the Madden 19 Challenge Champion in walk-off fashion. With his performance at the event, Chritobin pocketed the $35,000 grand prize and locked up an automatic seat at April's Madden Bowl.
From unknown to #MaddenChallenge Champion! 🏆🎮💪💰@Chritobin's WALK-OFF TD in overtime to seal the victory & hoist the MCS Belt &mdashpic.twitter.com/4OLs8MZM06 (http://pic.twitter.com/4OLs8MZM06%3C/a%3E%3C/p%3E&mdash); Madden League Ops (@MaddenLeagueOps) March 18, 2019
The championship game was a nail-biter that went into overtime. The tournament's defending champ Drini “Drini” Gjoka was the odds-on favorite to win it all again, but it literally came down to a coin flip at the start of OT. Chritobin won the flip, elected to receive, and the game was over after his long touchdown catch-and-run with a Team MVPs 97 OVR Joe Mixon MUT item that sealed the victory just a few plays into the overtime period.
Maybe even more impressive, Chritobin didn't have an easy path to victory. He defeated worthy opponents like Madden 19 Club Champion Pavan “Pavan” Lakhat, MCS veteran Reginald “Boogz” Brown, Challenge regular Michael “Spoto” Spoto, and of course Drini, along the way. Something tells me he's not going anywhere.
The Madden Challenge marked the final chance for competitors to earn MCS points as part of the qualification process for the upcoming Madden Bowl, the crowning event of the competitive Madden season. There are only two more seats (out of 16) still up for grabs and those will be determined at the Last Chance Qualifier in late April. Here's a snapshot of the competitors who have already qualified for the Madden Bowl based on the first three Majors of the season.
Madden Bowl Seats Locked
*in no particular order
Michael “Skimbo” Skimbo*
Justin “LilMan” Barone*
Pavan “Pavan” Lakhat*
Abbott “Blocky” Lopez*
Ryan “ibestrafing” Danczak*
Hassan “GOS” Spall*
Drini “Drini” Gjoka*
Christian “Chritobin” Lomenzo*
Jordan “Canes” Powell
Stephen “VYElectrify” Appleblatt
Michael “Spoto” Spoto
Reginald “Boogz” Brown
Douglas “Crush” Thiel
Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen
LCQ first place TBD
LCQ runner-up TBD
At the conclusion of the Madden Challenge, eight competitors are locked into the Madden Bowl due to their advancement in Majors this season at the Classic, Club Championship, and Challenge. The other six have qualified due to MCS points acquired throughout the season.
In addition to the intense competitive Madden gameplay at the Challenge, another big storyline of the weekend was the grand opening of an all-new, state-of-the-art EA Broadcast Studio located at the company's Redwood Shores, CA headquarters. Featuring two gameplay stations, the Players Lounge, and a roomy caster's desk, its the new home for competitive Madden live events and our team saw months of hard work (and potentially sleepless nights) pay off with the first event held in the space. Here's to many more!
That does it for our coverage of the Madden 19 Challenge ... for now! Check back for the Snickers Most Satisfying Moments blog later this week, and of course all the Madden Bowl preview content you can handle in the coming weeks. GGs in the chat everyone!
— 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 news, tournament updates, recaps, and content throughout the Madden 19 Club Championship and all season long.