The Weekend in eSports: Competitive Madden Returns Starring Two-Time Champ

By Ethan Gach on at

Pro Madden kicks off the first major tournament of its 2020 season this weekend with the Madden 20 Classic in Arlington, Texas where all eyes will be on Michael 'Skimbo' Skimbo to see if the existing champ can win his third straight title.

Skimbo has been a powerhouse at the Classic for the last two years; he cemented his status as one of the best in the league three years ago when he won the 2017 Madden Championship against seasoned veteran Eric 'Problem' Wright. This year will be a perfect opportunity for someone new to raise their status if they’re able to unseat Skimbo.

The event also takes place just over a year after a shooting at a Madden tournament held in Jacksonville, Florida on August 26. That tragedy left two players dead, Elijah 'Trueboy' Clayton and Taylor 'SpotmePlzzz' Robertson, as well as several others wounded. EA hasn’t announced whether there are any plans to honour the anniversary in some way at this weekend’s Classic.

Tournament play began on Friday at 10:00 p.m. BST. On Saturday, matches resume at 6:00 a.m. and go until 5:00 a.m on Sunday, resuming for the last stage of the tournament at 6:00 p.m. and will wrap up by 3:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Everything will stream live on EA’s Madden Twitch channel.

Also this weekend are the first round of qualifiers for competitors in the eighth season of Rocket League’s Championship Series. It provides a fighting chance to new teams consisting of players competing in the lower tiers of Rocket League, or even just alone in their own homes; these teams will be getting a shot at competing in the game’s multi-million dollar league. Qualifiers for North America start on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. BST followed by Europe on Sunday at noon. Those games will be streaming on the Rocket League Twitch channel.

Finally, you can catch up on the latest round of Nintendo esports this weekend at 2GG: SwitchFest 2019. While Smash Bros. Ultimate will headline the event, there will also be a load of tournaments for other Nintendo games, including Splatoon 2 and Arms, as well as Super Mario Maker 2 and Mario Tennis Aces. There will even be a side competition in Super Mario Party. I’ve never watched a competitive Mario Party tournament before, but it sounds like the kind of thing my life has been missing. A full schedule for all of the tournaments is available here, with matches for each streaming on 2GGaming’s Twitch channel.