Tory Martin, 14, sat down in a room at the Reston Community Center and picked up a Sony Playstation 2 videogame controller. Like he’d done many times before, he flipped through the menu using the controller, preparing to play John Madden’s NFL 2006, a popular football videogame.
He wasn’t nervous, but the stakes were high. This wasn’t any ordinary game. It was part of the RCC’s Madden Challenge, a videogame tournament held Feb. 20 by the Teen Department for about 20 teens from 11-18 years old, battling it out to be crowned the “Madden King.”
Bragging rights were on the line. Also, a $200 gift card awaited the first place winner, and $100 and $50 gift cards for second and third place.
Still, Tory was unfazed. Maybe it was because he knew his opponent so well. It was his cousin, 15-year-old Travis Willams.
As the game got underway, they were both asked who was the better player. In a response that couldn’t have been more simultaneous if it were rehearsed, the two cousins both replied, “Me.”
It seems Tory was telling the truth, winning the match.
Six hours later, however, they both were eliminated from the tournament. In the end, first place went to Yaki Ibia, who defeated second place finisher Anthony “AJ” Nairne. Thomas Mayo defeated Dennis Alfaro to claim the third place prize.
Mike Estelle, assistant director of the Teen Department, helped organize the double-elimination tournament.
The event, which cost $10 to enter, included food, drinks and door prizes.
— Jason Hartke