This past weekend, the third leg of the Madden Championship Series was played in the new EA Broadcast Studio in Redwood City, California. The finals saw returning champion, Drini “Drini” Gjoka defend his title against Christian “Chritoban” Lomenzo. Up for grabs were a $35,000 prize and the highly sought-after championship belt.
The first half was a slow grind for both competitors with each exchanging field goals. Late in the second quarter, Drini committed a costly mistake. What seemed like a good defensive stand turned catastrophic on the ensuing field goal attempt. Drini had a clear shot at blocking the kick. Instead, he whiffed on the attempt and drew a roughing the kicker penalty gifting his opponent a new set of downs. Chritoban took full advantage and scored a touchdown before halftime resulting in a 10 – 3 score in his favor.
In the third quarter, Drini was hoping to turn his fortunes around but turned the ball over on his first two possessions via fumble and interception. Fortunately, his defense held keeping his deficit to seven points. In the final quarter, it was Chritoban making mental mistakes. With the opportunity to make it a two-possession game, he missed on a short field goal. Afterwards, Drini scored a touchdown to send the game into overtime.
Chritoban won the toss and began overtime with the ball. He was able to compose himself after his previous blunder and came back with a huge 68-yard run to end the game. What a way to end his first ever EA Major live event by winning the whole competition and becoming the Madden 2019 Challenge Champion.
The Madden Championship Series concludes this April with the Madden Bowl. Most of the sixteen slots have been decided with the final two slots to be determined at the Last Chance Qualifier a week before the big competition.