Review: Madden 17 Challenger Event at thE Arena
On March 25-26, the Millennial Esports Arena—or thE Arena—at Neonopolis in Downtown Las Vegas held the last sanctioned Madden 17 Challenger Event of the season. It was the last chance for players, professional and amateur, to earn Madden championship points for a spot in the Madden 17 Championship Finals in May that has a $500,000 prize pool.
Madden Challenger Events are equivalent to any sport season. Players enter to compete at each event and earn points depending on how they perform. They are playing for a spot in the Championship Finals, which is essentially the playoffs.
ThE Arena, a 15,000-square-foot-facility located on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, opened March 3. It is Las Vegas’ first permanent eSports arena and studio. The arena is split into two spaces. One space has a dual purpose for holding matches and housing a studio for streaming, while the other space is the new arena that holds up to 1,100 people and is wired for live casting.
According to Adam Morrison, chief technology officer of Millennial Esports, the Madden 17 Tournament had over 150 entries. He said that about 60 percent of players played on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles, while the other 40 percent choose just one of the consoles. On the first day of the tournament, players played a round robin to determine if they qualified for the championship in the arena the next day.
On the first day of the competition, iGamingPlayer.com met up with a player named “Figgy,” who was 3-0 in the round robin round. Figgy, who is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was using his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers to dominate the round robin round. We asked him his thoughts on the tournament so far.
“There are a lot of good players here competing for a spot in the Championship Finals in May,” he said. “I’m very happy I was able to start off 3-0 this morning, but I have to stay focused and keep riding the momentum today and make it to the championship tomorrow.”
At the end of the round robin, Figgy finished with an amazing 15-0 record.
Figgy, who plays on both Xbox and PlayStation, placed thirdin the New Jersey Madden tournament in December on PlayStation but wasn’t able to place in California in March. He needed to place in the top three on the second day of the Las Vegas tournament in order to gain enough championship points to earn his spot in the finals.
On the big stage on day 2 of the Vegas event, Figgy made it to the final match on both Xbox and PlayStation. Already earning a huge amount of Madden points for the Championship Finals in May, Figgy still wanted first place on both consoles. Playing the Pittsburgh Steelers the whole tournament, Figgy won first place on PlayStation, but was unable to make a fourth quarter comeback on Xbox coming in second place, losing to ERG Scheming.
Regardless, Figgy was the star of the tournament losing only one game. He shot up in the rankings from 45th to 20th. The top 32 players make the Championship finals, and Figgy rightfully earned his spot after an impressive performance in Las Vegas.