This past weekend, Midwest Campus Clash was host to the two Collegiate Starleague Madden 17 Grand Finals, one for the PlayStation 4 and one for the Xbox One. Eight players were flown out to the event to compete for a shot at the $10,000 prize pool ($5,000 per console) and the title of best collegiate Madden player in North America. On Friday night, the players went through the draft phase, picking out players to fill out their custom team. Semifinal matches kicked off early Saturday morning.
The CSL Collegiate Madden Final Four for XBOX and PS4 – Image Credit: Demetrius Woodward
The first semifinal matches of the day were played on the Xbox One. In the opening game, Miami Dade College’s “Blocky” took on Richland Community College’s “LilDinho” in a heated matchup. The two stayed neck and neck throughout the entire game, trading touchdowns, field goals, and turnovers nearly every drive. With 49 seconds left in the game and down by 5, Blocky found his opening. One seam route and a 42-yard pass later, Blocky took control of the lead and sealed his victory. LilDinho looked for a miracle, only to end up throwing an interception, allowing Blocky to advance to the Grand Finals on a 25-24 victory.
Commentators Rico Williams (right) and Larry Ridley (left) were on the call for the CSL Madden Finals – Image Credit: Demetrius Woodward
The next Xbox semifinal put College of Marin’s “LowRoad0821” against Bridgewater College’s “SchoolboyShue.” Like the first game, an obvious winner was not to be found. This time the game winning touchdown came with only 14 seconds remaining and from 36 yards out. After driving down the field with quick passes, LowRoad decided to take the alternate route. Excellent play calling lead to a 36 yard, game winning run on a draw play through a sizeable gap on the offensive line. With only six seconds remaining after the extra point, there was no time for a response, giving LowRoad a 38-31 victory.
CSL’s XBOX Madden Champion, Blocky – Image Credit: Demetrius Woodward
Unlike both semifinal matches, the Grand Finals were anything but close. Blocky made it known early on that his defense was going to be hard to break this game, getting an interception in the game’s opening drive. The turnover translated into a quick 7 points for Blocky, and from then on there was no looking back. The defensive play calling and execution by Blocky was near perfect, only giving up a field goal at the end of the first half. With solid defensive execution, the offense only needed to put up a few points and burn the clock. As the clock hit zero, Blocky had cruised to a 30-3 victory and secured the Madden 17 Xbox Championship.
The PlayStation 4 semifinals followed directly after the Xbox semis, with Central Pennsylvania College’s “xx_KickPush_xx” and Cal State-San Marcos’ “MuteIsCool” taking the stage first. Once again, spectators were treated to a heated game. Unlike the Xbox semis, where the game was decided on a final drive, MuteIsCool showed how important 4th quarter defense is. This was displayed heavily around the 2-minute mark, when KickPush had the ball on Mute’s 9-yard line down by 4. Mute stayed calm and collective, holding off KickPush’s offensive aggression and forcing him into coming away with just a field goal. That field goal would be the last time KickPush would find the scoreboard, as the game went on to finish 32-31 in favor of MuteIsCool.
Tyler “TheSuccessStory” Davis greets the crowd at Columbia College – Image Credit: Demetrius Woodward
In the next match, well known PS4 Madden player from Salem State University, Tyler “TheSuccessStory” Davis, was paired up against UncleDreww from Prince George’s Community College. Davis proved why he is one of the best by securing the only mercy rule victory of the tournament in a 25-0 rout over UncleDreww.
Unlike the first game, the Finals weren’t so easy for Davis. While he did maintain control throughout the game, Mute kept fighting back. A couple key defensive stops and a pick six late in the first half put Davis ahead by fourteen, giving him a two-possession edge that allowed for some comfort room. Turns out that was what he needed. Even though Mute would put up points, Davis still had room to breathe. With the clock ticking down in the 4th quarter, Mute needed to recover an onside kick, drive down the field about 40 yards to get in field goal range, and score a field goal or touchdown – all with no timeouts left. The first step of the plan went perfect, as the crowd went crazy after Mute recovered the onside kick. Sadly for him, the zero timeouts came back to hurt as time ran out one play after the recovery, giving Davis the 38-35 victory, and well-earned title of Madden 17 PS4 Champion.
TheSuccessStory and Blocky spoke with Larry Ridley after their championship victories – Image Credit: Demetrius Woodward
After a successful first season, it was only right that the Grand Finals for each console went above and beyond the hype set up for it. Behind a great venue and atmosphere, the players displayed extraordinary talent that will be continuing for some on a professional level later this year. Be sure to keep up with cstarleague.com during the week for exclusive post-game interviews with the winners, and stay tuned in for more Madden next season!