Skip to main content

“From couch to champion”: Why Madden 24 makes the MCS more accessible than ever

In an exclusive interview with Esports Illustrated, Madden Championship Series (MCS) Commissioner Andrew Echanique revealed how Madden 24 provides the perfect platform for football fans to showcase their skills in a unique form.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Unlike other esports leagues, the MCS benefits from having one of the most passionate fan bases right in its own backyard. Millions of fans nationwide tune in every Saturday and Sunday to watch football.

Yet, many of those everyday football viewers are unaware of a golden opportunity to translate their knowledge into a skill that doesn’t necessarily require the rare gift of being a freak athlete.

Every football fan can recall at least one memory of staying up late in a friend's basement playing Madden. There is no better bragging right at school the next day than being the best player in your friend group.

MCS Commissioner Andrew Echanique

MCS Commissioner Andrew Echanique

Tapping into that nostalgia, the MCS gives every player who felt they were the best among their friends to show off their talents on a much larger scale using their accumulated football knowledge.

MCS combines love of football and video games

At the heart of football is competition, and the MCS created a product that attracts sports and esports fans alike.

First and foremost, the MCS changed its competition structure to monthly tournaments that align with the start of the NFL season and run through the Super Bowl.

League commissioner Andrew Echanique explained: “When we looked at our competition structure, we wanted more opportunity for our players to participate in events and be able to watch as well.”

As a result, the MCS’ first event of the season, Ultimate Kickoff, set the record as the most-watched Madden esports competition. Echanique also confirmed that participation in the league’s first two events is already more than all of last year combined.

Then, “to create a cycle of continued interest and participation,” as Echanique described it, the league made it so players could start participating in the next event as soon as the last one ended.

Creating connections within the football community

It’s one thing to give the players a better format to thrive, but the MCS also set its sights on expanding its player base. To accomplish that goal, the league broadcasts all of its matches on Twitch and YouTube and recently established a presence on TikTok.

And that pool of potential talent doesn’t just extend to video game fans. Echanique argued: “Madden has always been a place where I have deepened my fandom for the NFL. That’s where I learned all the nuances of what defensive schemes make sense or what passing concepts are important to able to be successful, and that’s extended into every day.”

Competing in Madden goes far beyond providing a traditional esports competition. The MCS commissioner elaborated: “The way we create our events not only gives a platform to players to showcase their skills, but when we get to the live broadcast, we really want to teach them from the best players in the world how you can scheme or what are the nuances that make Madden so unique that is transferable to what you see on an NFL Sunday or College Saturday.”

The love of football is what makes the MCS a perfect melting pot of esports and football fans, and it’s never too late to get started yourself.

How to become a member of the MCS community

As a precursor to becoming an MCS fan, Echanique pointed out Henry and Dez as must-watch competitors.

Henry is on pace to be the first million dol

Henry is on pace to be the first million dol

“Henry is on pace to be the first player to earn a million dollars playing Madden, which is such an incredible story at such a young age. And then last year, we saw Dez break onto the scene.”

The MCS commissioner used both players’ stories as a lesson that it’s never too late to start pursuing a passion for playing Madden. “You can start playing tomorrow, learn from these top players, develop your skills, build a platform brand, and eventually earn money.”

The best part being that the Madden 24 Championship Series is an open circuit, meaning anyone can participate. Any resident of the US, Canada, Mexico Germany, and the UK who are 16 years or older and own an Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, or PC can register online to get started.

All MCS tournaments will be streamed on EA Madden NFL Twitch and on the EA Sports Madden NFL YouTube channel.

If you want to tune into the next event, fans can watch Harvest on November 14.