The stadium played host Saturday to the Madden 18 Club Championship Series, where the four top Madden players qualifying in the Burgundy and Gold gathered to play down to Madden 18 Coins a winner who will represent the team against finalists from the other 31 NFL clubs this weekend in Orlando. Taking place in the Owner’s Club, there were representatives from the team, the NFL and EA Sports on hand, along with a live broadcasting crew. The games themselves were broadcast on the stadium videoboards and across the web to thousands of viewers.


 


This is where professional sports and esports meet in 2018. Just as the NBA has invested in its own NBA 2K league, the NFL and EA Sports are ponying up not only to fly gamers from all around the country to these club championship matchups, but for a prize pool of over $400,000, with $35,000 going to the champion. That’s part of an overall prize pool of over $1.15 million for all Madden 18 tournaments EA is hosting this year.


It’s a lot of money, but it’s not that much money, all things considered. The whole affair begs the bigger question of whether or not this is a viable career for those gamers who choose to invest their time mastering their craft. League of Legends instituted a $75,000 minimum player salary last year. But as a recent Value Penguin study showed, a vast majority of Dota 2 players made less than $20,000 in 2017. For sports games still looking to make their mark in the esports world, prize money requires league investment.

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