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17-Year-Old Noah Johnson Wins Madden Challenge, Takes Home $35,000


EA Sports’ Madden NFL Challenge has a new champion. Noah “Noah” Johnson won four straight games to earn his first Madden Championship Series (MCS) title and $35,000. Noah took down some of the best players in the competitive Madden community (including two former MCS title winners) en route to the belt. Each of the 16 finalists were playing Madden NFL 20 for a share of $190,000 in prize money. Here’s a complete breakdown of the tournament, which was held in Redwood City, California.


In capturing the Madden Challenge title, Noah (17) became the youngest player ever to win a belt. Last year’s Madden Club Series Champion Pavan (18) previously held the record. Noah struggled in the Group Stage, but made an incredible run through the single-elimination bracket. He knocked off two former belt winners, Kiv and Gos, en route to victory. Here’s a look at Noah’s tournament.

  • Group Stage: Defeated Trey, 38-6
  • Group Stage: Lost to Deliverance, 17-15
  • Group Stage: Lost to JD, 14-10 (finished 2nd in Group C, advanced to wildcard round)
  • Wildcard Round: Defeated Gos, 17-12
  • Quarterfinal: Defeated Kiv, 35-13
  • Semifinal: Defeated Wesley, 20-14
  • Final: Defeated Cleff, 14-6

The Madden Challenge was played in Madden 20’s MUT Draft mode, meaning players chose their squads from a randomized draft pool. Noah selected 94 overall running back Chris Johnson, who dominated throughout the tournament. There are no power ups or abilities in MUT Draft, so Johnson’s 94 speed, 94 acceleration and 93 agility were often too much for opposing defenses.
Noah’s defense during this run can’t be ignored either. He didn’t allow more than 17 points in any game, even his two losses in group stage. He forced key turnovers in all of his wins, including game-changing interceptions against Wesley and Cleff. Some folks may criticize Noah’s lack of creativity on offense, but his elite defense is what truly won him the belt.



Below is the final bracket for the Madden Challenge, including all results.


You can see EA’s bracket by clicking here. Below are the payouts for the top eight finishers in the tournament.

  • Noah – $35,000
  • Cleff – $25,000
  • Joke, Wesley (Joe Rice) – $20,000
  • Henry, Crush, Deliverance, Kiv – $10,000


Joke Falls Short Again – After looking unstoppable for most of the tournament, Joke collapsed in the final four against Cleff. Joke still took home $20,000 and clinched a seat at the Madden Bowl, but the quest for his first belt continues.

Wesley: Bo Jackson of eSports? – Wesley (formerly known as Joe Rice) made another impressive run in the Challenge, reaching the final four. Wesley is a fixture in the Madden competitive scene, but also advanced through the NBA 2K League Combine and was informed by 2K he is draft eligible. When he is selected in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft, he’ll become the first two-sport athlete in sports video game eSports.

Scott Cole’s Final Call – eSports commentator Scott Cole, who was critical to Madden’s arrival and growth in the eSports scene, announced the Madden Challenge would be his final tournament with EA. Cole called 15 of the 17 MCS major events to this point, meaning someone will have to fill a massive role for EA. Cole will be missed, as his contributions to growing the Madden community can’t be overstated.

You can read more about the Madden 20 Challenge here.

What did you think of the Madden 20 Challenge? Who do you think is the favorite to win it all at the upcoming Madden Bowl? What was the best card you pulled from Twitch drops? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to subscribe to SGO.

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