Rise Nation the First to Enter Madden with Signing of TRAW
Rise Nation is officially the first esports organization to take a major step into the Madden community with the signing of Mychael “TRAW” Morales. The decision comes ahead of a big year for Madden, as it expands into the esports scene with the debut of an official tournament circuit
The Madden 17 Championship Series will be a hosted by Electronic Arts on the global stage. Challenger events will allow community members to host their own tournaments within the game, and Premier Series LAN events will be hosted around the globe. A series of four majors, each with a prize pool of $250,000, is expected to motivate the vast Madden community to compete at the highest level. Luckily, a variety of highly dedicated players have already been practicing for years.
TRAW is no stranger to playing on stage. The 25-year-old has competed for money since 2013 and even won the Madden 15 Ultimate Team Championship, where he also had the chance to lay a smackdown on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Madden 17 was released on Aug. 23, but TRAW had the opportunity to play the game ahead of everyone else. He says that Madden this year has a larger skill gap than previous titles and that it’s “probably one of the best Madden's yet." Playing defense is better this year due to the ability to counter “aggressive catch” by swatting the ball away and zone coverage is better overall, he told GAMURS.
In their signing announcement, Rise Nation called TRAW a “perfect fit." This stems from the fact that the organization is owned in part by professional football player Rodger Saffold, who has played for the Los Angeles Rams since 2010.
“It was a no brainer,” said co-owner Kahreem Horsley. “This is something that can appeal to fans easily because it follows a traditional sport, so it will be easy for them to cheer on and follow as they watch… This scene has great potential to blow up, especially with a $1 million [tournament series] going down this year! “
Up until this point, Rise Nation had been a one-esport organization. They currently own one of the top Call of Duty teams and also recently expanded into the new shooter, Overwatch. The addition of TRAW could be big for them if Madden takes off this year.
“Hopefully we can see some other big name [organizations] catch on and really get behind this scene as well. It has a lot of upside,” said Horsley.
With so much money now involved in an already popular game, it’s highly likely he is right that the signing of TRAW will open the door for more signings of top Madden players.
Will Madden become a huge esport? Will other organizations now venture into the up-and-coming scene? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.