There are so many opportunities to work in gaming all over the world. Meet Stephen Gibbons and Zach Farley from EA Tiburon.
From Community leaders to hosting broadcasts for EA, learn how these Digital Content Managers on the Community Engagement Team got their start.
How did you two meet?
Gibs: We met Freshman year of college at a campus wide poker tournament. We both made it to the final table and Zach knocked me out…on the river. As I walked away he said some witty comment that I don’t remember, but made me vow to never talk to him again. When we got stuck living across the hall from each other the next year, I had to break my vow and we connected through Madden.
ZFarls (left) and SGibs calling the action at Madden Bowl in San Francisco.
When did you both first start playing Madden – who was your go-to team that year?
Farls: We both started on Sega with Madden 94, but not super competitively until Madden 2006. We played with the Broncos, Gibs played offense and I played defense. We “thought we were good” when we beat the 15th ranked player online. He used the Giants and we led by 3 with a minute to go. He kept throwing this one corner route that we finally shut down and got the victory.
ZFarls and SGibs Standing with the Madden challenge champion Matt “BeastModeMac” Clark.
How did you both first start getting involved with competitive Madden? How did you go in your first tournament?
Gibs: No matter what we’re doing we find a way to compete against each other. We played Madden 2006 against each other constantly as well as Tecmo Super Bowl, which ultimately led us to traveling to Madden challenges up and down the east coast.
My first tournament was at the Madden 2006 Madden Challenge in Boston, MA. I won my first game and then got absolutely blown out in my next game. For some reason, getting blown out sparked an interest into competitive Madden for me and ever since then I have always wanted to be the best player on the planet.
ZFarls and SGibs back in 2011, on the set of their weekly show “This Week In Madden”.
It’s one of the only things I do in my life where I can completely and 100% get into the flow. It’s when I’m the most happy.
You guys literally wrote the book on playing Madden, creating the Prima strategy guide for years. How did you start working on that project?
Farls: In March 2011, we received a phone call about a potential opportunity to write the official strategy guides based off our work in the community. In our industry, we hear about the importance of creating content and becoming part of the communities that we care so much about. We are only here today because the community supported the content that we created and we never stopped making it.
The duo has written 6 Madden NFL Strategy Guides and hosted 300+ Madden Broadcasts.
How did you first get involved with shoutcasting?
Gibs: Back in 2009, we started a live online show about Madden called “This Week In Madden.” The goal was to keep the community informed and entertained with all the action in the community.
We started filming the show in Farls’ parent’s basement. The reason I feel so comfortable doing shoutcasting is because I have been doing livestreams for 8 years. I never intentionally tried to get involved with shoutcasting or ever imagined this would actually become a real thing. It’s an opportunity that I was ready for only because of the content I had done previously.
You’re both now shoutcasters at EA Competitive Gaming tournaments. What is the key to being a great shoutcaster?
Gibs: The key is when you can talk about the game like it’s second nature, being able to articulate everything happening on screen as if it’s a recap of the life you have lived. Anyone can do it, you just need to eat, sleep, and breath it. When I shoutcast, I go into another zone. I forget where I am, I don’t notice my surroundings and I just focus on the moment. It’s one of the only things I do in my life where I can completely and 100% get into the flow. It’s when I’m the most happy.
You guys called the Madden Campus Tournament that crowned Will Sykes the best Madden 17 player at EA. What was that experience like?
Zach: It was an incredible experience. There was a buzz across all the studios with people trying to prove that they are the best in their office. We have some excellent employees here at Tiburon who are very passionate about the game and community. It was great to watch them battle to represent our studio at HQ and show their skills.
ZFarls and SGibs both host and produce the MUTCast, a weekly stream dedicated to competitive gaming at EA SPORTS.
What do you work on during a typical day here at EA?
Gibs: My official title is “Digital Content Manager”. I have an eye on all the content that goes out on our Madden social channels, and help plan campaigns to turn content into daily conversations on the channels.
What’s the most fun part of your job at Tiburon?
Zach: Getting to work with incredibly talented people across all the areas that go into building an amazing game and being able to contribute to what I love most…competitive Madden.
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Sr. Development Director, Madden NFL
Will Sykes earned the title of best Madden 17 player at EA