Written By: Steve Vegvari
The Madden NFL 19 season has been gaining momentum. Competitive players have been testing the waters, and getting a feel for the new features and changes EA has packed into this year’s title.
EA has integrated a new level of realism and refinement with the Real Player Motion. Brand new run mechanics have been added, so each player handles slightly different to the last. Acceleration, blocks, and carries have been refined as well.
These types of changes can often lead to competitive players having to rethink their strategies. So who better to touch base with than the winner of last year’s WorldGaming Network Canadian Challenge; Mr. Ferozious.
Feroz “Mr. Ferozious” Khan is a lifelong Madden player. Throughout our discussion, he brought a lot of perspective into how Madden is treated on a competitive level. EA Sports games have always been an ever-changing platform, and he continues to keep that in mind every year.
Steve: For those unaware, can you give us an introduction?
Feroz: Sure, My name is Feroz Khan. I am 34. I’ve been gaming since the age of 4. I am an account manager for a logistics company so I typically work from 12-8 and any of my free time I have I play games. The only thing I do play is NBA 2K and of coarse, Madden.
Steve: When did you start playing Madden?
Feroz: I have been playing Madden since the Super Nintendo days I think.
Steve: So really early on.
Feroz: Yeah! Then I was playing both versions of football games [Madden and NFL 2K] when they was available. Now we have Madden exclusively so I have been playing that. Anything that was competitive, whether it was in-house or on the floor of the apartment building I lived in, we always had competition no matter what.
Steve: What was it about competitive games that pulled you in?
Feroz: I’ll be honest, I think I got it from my father. It was not only video games, it was everything. He instilled that you have to be the best at whatever you do. I took that to every single action that I did. Whether it was real sports –– which I played all throughout high-school –– whether it was school, or video games. I hated losing and if I was weak at anything I wanted to be better.
I guess you could call it ego. *Laughs* But I guess I did not like the feeling of another person winning.
Steve: When did you start competiting?
Feroz: In Canada it is a little tougher in terms of tournaments for esports or anything like that. I stuck to sports because I knew I played it, and lived it. The two sports I played were football and basketball, exclusively. There was never a moment where I was not involved.
When Best Buy launched their Madden Challenge 10 or 11 year’s ago, I put myself in there and went ahead to play in the tournament. After that, it was gone and I was like “I want this! I need this!” That was 10 years ago and it was me wanting it and waiting for the chance for something to happen.
Last year, WorldGaming Network had their Madden tournament and I spoke to some of the guys and said “Thank you, finally we have some sort of channel to show the competition. Also, to be in the competition as well.”
Steve: Between the Best Buy Madden Challenge, and the WorldGaming Network Canadian Challenge, was there a lull in between? Did you find smaller tournaments to participate in?
Feroz: There were online leagues that I would be involved in. I would try to work out the kinks and play competitively. There was one before the WorldGaming Network Canadian Challenge last year. A company called We Got Game held one. What they do is go around to different campuses and set up Fortnite and other video game events.
He had a local one, which I ended up going undefeated and winning. I won a small prize pool. Other than that, to refine my skill I participate in the online leagues and go to small, little 10 person competitions.
Steve: Have any of the changes in Madden affected the way you play?
Feroz: They launched the new Frostbite engine last year. A lot of people were saying it only affects the appearances. This year, EA redefined the locomotion and the way you are able to run the ball based on every single character.
The game does change, and when patches come out it changes the dynamic. It changes almost on a day-to-day basis. It is hard to say that one base game at launch will be the same at the end of the season. The only thing that has changed is the running mechanics this year.
Steve: Have the new mechanics been a benefit to you? What are your impressions so far?
Feroz: I don’t take anything negatively. Obviously, there are different metas that come out. You always try to find the current meta and use that to your advantage. My whole thing is that I like to run very random stuff that most are not. It’s so I can be a bit different to what everyone sees. When it comes to competition, lot of people will run the same thing over and over. I try to keep people on their toes.
Steve: Can you talk us through your experience during the Canadian Challenge last year?
Feroz: There was the bracket and group stage, where I went undefeated. As I got to the hotel, I was anxious. My whole thing was that I wanted to give it my 110 percent. I beat myself over that when it comes down to not doing anything properly.
When the lights came on, it was a whole different experience. It was my first time being on the front stage. I thought I was going to be nervous, but it was more of being anxious for the outcome. Once I got my first game out of the way, it took that feeling away.
Steve: Are you hoping to participate in any competitions this year?
Feroz: Absolutely! I am waiting to hopefully hear of another WorldGaming Challenge for the Canadian side. I am trying to qualify for the Club Series on the other side, representing the Buffalo Bills. Any Canadian tournaments I find I’ll be looking to participate in those as well.
Steve: Where can people follow you online?
Feroz: They can catch me on my Twitter. My Xbox Gamertag is also Mr Ferozious.
Keep an eye on Inside WorldGaming Network for more on Madden NFL 19.
About The Author: Steve Vegvari
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.