Madden: The Bridge Between Esports and Sports

Collegiate esports is a relatively recent phenomenon, but video games being played on college campuses, that’s been around for a while. No other game has been as much of a staple of the American dorm experience as Madden, and while a lot of competitive PC games are still attempting to shake off the negative stigma of being for “nerds”, Madden plays the part of a unique bridge between virtual esport and physical sport. 

Players like Tim Yoder are prime examples of that bridge. Tim is a running back for the University of Texas and has been playing competitive Madden on and off for 5 years. While the majority of his school’s esports focus has been on League and Dota2, he’s excited to show UT something different. 

The interesting thing that we are seeing so far here at CSL, is that while the collegiate esports scene has been heavily dominated by West Coast and Canadian schools, Madden might be the first time we really see the South shine. 

“The south loves football. Madden is such an easy jump for non video game players to hop into a game with a subject they care about deeply without the nerd stigma.” - Steven Johnson, University of Alabama

The South is also home to some really intriguing stories, like that of LSU’s Jasen Aidt, who plays Madden with just one arm due to a minor case of cerebral palsy, according to Tiger TV’s Andrew Franzella. It has not stopped him from making great plays both on the sticks and on the court. You check out his story in Franzella’s video below.


The esports scene is ready for a shakeup. There’s a tendency for our groups to rely too heavily on specific inside jokes or language that can be off-putting to the more casual crowd. There are skilled players out there ready to be brought into the fold, but being held back because they are intimidated. A football fan can immediately find Madden interesting, but a lot of gamers can also recognize the skills needed to play the game at a high level. After such a nerve-wracking Super Bowl, there’s a hole that needs to be filled for fans of the sport. Here’s hoping that CSL’s Madden league will scratch the itch football fans are already feeling and help bridge the gap between esports and physical sports.


Are you ready for some football? Who is your school's Madden pride and joy? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!


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