Four of the top gamers, including last year’s champ, will compete in the EA Madden 18 Vikings Championship Showcase from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Mall of America Rotunda.
This year’s tournament is presented by Pepsi, CenturyLink and Hyundai.
Ryan Danczak has returned after winning the club level tournament in February 2017. Although he lives in Kent, Washington, Danczak is a “die hard” Vikings fan. Danczak said his favorite player to play with in the game is Vikings Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr.
His club title will be challenged by Nick Anderson of New Brighton, Steven Evert of Plymouth and Wade Branch III of Brooklyn Park.
“Voice of the Vikings” Paul Allen will be on-hand to emcee the event, and Vikings Hall of Famer John Randle is scheduled to sign autographs from 10-11 a.m. for fans who receive wrist bands that will be available at 9:30 a.m.
Here’s a look at the four competitors (alphabetical by last name):
Gamer tag: Wintgoat
Twitter handle: Winterxd22
Favorite player to play with: [Michael] Vick
Previous connection to Vikings: No
Experience with Madden: “First year taking Madden seriously; I’m ready to make a name for myself.”
Wade Branch III
Gamer tag: GodsfavoriteW
Twitter handle: itswadeb
Favorite player to play with: Randy Moss
Previous connection to Vikings: “98 Randy Moss rookie year; favorite receiver”
Experience with Madden: “Lover of football and avid gamer; grew up playing Madden faithfully; made online playoffs twice last year but didn't make live event; just trying to inspire through gaming.”
Gamer tag: i be strafing
Twitter handle: ibestrafing
Favorite player to play with: Anthony Barr
Previous connection to Vikings: “Die hard” fan
Experience with Madden: Won Vikings Club last year
Gamer tag: Dean Evert
Twitter handle: Antihero41_
Favorite player to play with: C.J. Ham
Previous connection to Vikings: “Played in the same event last year; I'm from here, and the Vikings are my favorite team.”
Experience with Madden: “Played a lot without anything to show for it; Now I don't really play anymore, and here I am, go figure.”
Madden 18 Vikings Championship Showcase
Presented by Pepsi, CenturyLink, Hyundai
Schedule of events (times subject to change)
9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. | Wrist-bands for John Randle Autograph Signing Available
10:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. | Autograph Signing with Vikings Legend John Randle
10:30 a.m. | Madden 18 Vikings Championship Challenger Begins
Noon – 1:30 p.m. | Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders & Viktor Appearances
12:45 p.m. | Minnesota Vikings SKOL Line Appearance
1:15 p.m. | Championship Game