This article is part of our Madden Recap series.
Just four people remain following the competition Saturday at the Madden Championship Series Finale. With a total of $500,000 on the line, there was certainly plenty of fireworks in Burbank, California as a few upsets took center stage.
In a rematch of the game that put Michael "Skimbo" Skimbo on the competitive map back in 2013, he and Carlos "Los" Yancy combined for 42 points throughout an electric first quarter. The two players traded punches early in the game thanks to dynamic aerial attacks, with neither having much of an answer on defense. Skimbo would finally gain control before the end of the half, scoring on back-to-back possessions to get a 35-21 lead.
Los would respond, scoring a touchdown on his opening possession of the second half, but it was all Skimbo from there as the No. 1 seeded player scored the final 10 points to pick up an absolutely frenetic 45-28 win.
The action didn't stop in the second quarterfinal match of the afternoon, as Taylor "SpotMePlzzz" Robertson and Shay "Young Kiv" Kivlan put together a riveting match of their own.
While the offense wasn't nearly as prolific as the first quarter of the Skimbo/Los contest, the two competitors did combine for 44 points in the first half, as Young Kiv shook off multiple turnovers to take a 24-20 lead into the break.
But SpotMePlzz would show an incredible knack for working through adversity, seemingly scoring a critical touchdown after every single score by Young Kiv. After SpotMePlzzz would score a touchdown to start the second half, Kiv would find himself trailing once more, utilizing multiple fourth down conversions to eventually get into field goal range, tying the game at 27-27. Both players would then trade touchdowns, setting up SpotMePlzzz with a chance to wear down the fourth quarter and finish the game with the final possession.
Moving the ball methodically down the field, SpotMePlzzz would eventually force Young Kiv to use two of his three timeouts while also setting himself up in field goal position. However a critical third down sack by Kiv forced SpotMePlzzz into an unenviably fourth-down-and-15. As he had shown all throughout the contest, SpotMePlzz was just better in the biggest moments, picking up the critical first down while simultaneously getting back in field goal range. A game-winning field seconds later gave SpotMePlzzz a well-deserved 37-34 victory.
In a contrast between the first two games of the afternoon, Reggie "iG Boogz" Brown and Raidel "Noble Joke" Brito was a defensive affair, as the two competitors combined for seven turnovers, at least a half dozen sacks and countless more bone-crushing hit sticks.
Boogz, who had put together a strong offense throughout much of the season continued his struggles moving the ball at the Madden Championship, scoring just a single touchdown in the first half. Thankfully his defense was on par, as he held Joke to just a field goal at the end of the first half to earn a 7-3 score.
The action picked up from there though, as Joke finally scored his first touchdown on the opening position of the second half. He then picked up a fantastic user interception and subsequently cashed in with a bit of luck, as his offensive lineman picked up a fumble near the goal line to score a touchdown and push the lead out to 17-7.
Boogz wouldn't give up though, navigating a pitfall of turnovers and near-turnovers to score a much-needed touchdown to climb back into the game 17-14. On the very next defensive play, Boogz would make a critical user interception of his own, hovering near the offensive line of scrimmage to snag an errant pass. Converting that turnover into a field goal, the game was deadlocked at 17-17 with just a little over two minutes to play.
That would set the stage for the gutsiest play by far in the tournament. With the game tied, the ball on his own 40 yard line and no timeouts remaining, Joke would go for a fourth down attempt, rolling out to the right and hitting an open Randy Moss for a 34-yard pass. That then set up a game-winning field with 12 seconds remaining, as Boogz would be unable to score again.
In the final game of the day, Michael "VoLTeRaX" Clark would square off against the legend of competitive Madden, Eric "Problem" Wright in what amounted to a new-school vs. old-school game.
VoLTeRaX's vaunted high-powered offense was on display early, as he would connect with swerve pass to Randy Moss on just the second play of the match for a touchdown. That would be all VoLTeRax could really muster on offense throughout the first half, as Problem's defense was spot on from there.
Problem would be in control of the game throughout most of the second half as well, earning a 23-7 lead right before the start of the fourth quarter. While a nifty pass sequence would see VoLTeRax score a touchdown to get the deficit within 10, he wouldn't get any closer as Problem would lock up the dominating 30-13 win.
The final day of the Madden Championship Series begins Sunday at 4 pm ET.