As a kid I played videos games (OK…it was games like Pong and Missile Command but I played them a lot) so when a blog reader sent me the following story I was excited to put it up on the blog. Here is the story of Noah Johnson from Ellicott City and his big win in the EA Sports Madden Challenge:

Seventeen-year-old, Noah Johnson of Ellicott City Maryland and a senior at DeMatha Catholic High School competed in the EA Sports Madden Challenge and brought home the coveted Madden Challenge belt and $35,000 cash prize. Noah is the youngest Madden Challenge champion in the competition’s history.

Noah began pre challenge play in November 2019 where hundreds of players competed online; each vying for one of 16 spots to advance to the Madden Challenge held at the EA Sports campus in San Francisco, CA.  On the evening of January 28, 2020 after a full day of school, Noah boarded a plan from Maryland to California on what he coined the “Belt or Bust Tour”.  Arriving on campus to participate in the event, he was noted as the second youngest player at the event and as a first-timer making it this far competing against seasoned veterans; many who had won the belt previously.   

Through group play, “Noah”, playing as the Philadelphia Eagles successfully advanced to the next stage beating two previous belt holders securing his spot the top 4. Throughout his play, Noah’s passion and laser focus was evident to all those at the event and who watched the streaming coverage.  He picked up quite a following online with family and friends gathered around their computers to cheer him on.  Considered the event underdog, Noah was able to leverage his run game and stick dexterity to rally from a wild-card berth with four straight victories allowing him to advance to the final where  


Noah defeated professional gamer, “Cleffthegod” with a score of 14-6.  With the victory, Noah brings home the coveted Madden Championship belt and a cash prize of $35,000 plus earns a spot to play at the Madden Bowl that has a total cash prize pool of $220,000.  Not only is Noah the youngest player to win a belt in the history of the series, he did so while managing a high school Senior’s course load filled with AP classes along with playing baseball and recreational basketball.    

Of special note, while on his quest to win the belt, Noah also received his acceptance letter into University of Maryland.  Quite the weekend for this young gentleman. EA will air highlights of the event on February 9 on ESPN 2. The Madden Bowl, the next and last event for the season is scheduled for April 23-25 and can be viewed on the EA YouTube channel and Twitch.


Here is a link to the 2020 Madden Challenge website event where you can see how Noah worked through the field of competitors to win 1st place:

I want to congratulate Noah on two fronts:

  1. Congrats on the Madden win. That is great. If we ever play online against each other…please try not to crush me by 100 points or more…LOL!!!
  2. Congrats on being accepted to University of Maryland. This is even a bigger win at the end of this story.

I have added the airing of the past tournament to my DVR (scheduled for February 9th). I look forward to seeing your victory:

I wish Noah a lot of luck and good fortune in the Madden Bowl in April. I would image that many in our county will be cheering you on.

Scott E