Madden 19: Chad Johnson headlines intriguing batch of new Ultimate Legends - Dexerto
Madden

Madden 19: Chad Johnson headlines intriguing batch of new Ultimate Legends

Published: 23/Mar/2019 16:50

by Calum Patterson

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Another Saturday, another round of Ultimate Legends in Madden 19. While the two defensive players were yet again tormented with lackluster Speed numbers, the highest profile offensive player will certainly live up to expectations.

PS4, Xbox One and PC users will also see a handful of new Power-Up options, mainly featuring previously released Team MVP players, joining the fray March 24.

Chad Johnson didn’t have a Power-Up as part of the Zero Chill master 95 overall item, so it made sense the former Bengals receiver would receive an upgrade that featured the potential theme team benefit.

Johnson’s Ultimate Legend item is significantly better than his previous high 95 overall Zero Chill card

While the height (6-1) doesn’t situate Johnson with the likes of Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss in terms of Legends receivers, 95 Speed is more than generous given EA’s insistence on destroying the stats of previous UL cards, giving Bengals and Patriots theme teams an explosive option split out wide.

Jones’ item doesn’t quite match up to the legacy the defensive end left behind.

Deacon Jones also received a Power-Up thanks to the Ultimate Legends program, which should be good news for Chargers and Redskins theme teams. 

While the former all-time sack leader is best known for his years with the Rams, ultimately creating the NFL term “sack” thanks to his pass-rushing prowess, the defensive end simply doesn’t fit the current Madden Ultimate Team meta.

Make no mistake, nearly every one of Jones’ pass-rushing stats is beyond excellent (save for the 88 Finesse Moves) which would be great in theory. But with the influx of 88+ speed quarterbacks dominating Madden Ultimate Team, Jones more than often will need to be subbed out in obvious pass-rushing situations in order for faster players to actually contain the potential scramble option. 

That essentially makes Jones an expensive two-down lineman, meaning the literal legend who redefined the NFL game on the defensive side of the ball can’t even be used effectively as a pure pass rusher in Madden Ultimate Team.

That’s an issue Madden, the franchise, will need to solve in the coming iterations of the game.

Blount will need multiple cards in order to have the necessary speed to keep up with most players in Madden Ultimate Team.

Mel Blount’s item would like to have participate in that conversation, as the defensive back joined a plethora of Legends that essentially would be useless without slotting into a theme team. 

93 Speed simply isn’t high enough for the end of March in Madden Ultimate Team, with more and more middling wide receivers seeing high enough speed numbers that would make Blount’s legitimately impressive coverage skills obsolete.

If you’ve kept up with past Ultimate Legends releases, this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s worth repeating until EA corrects the issue – for as great as the Power-Up system in Madden 19 has been, legitimate high-end items have to be relevant without relying on theme team boosts. 

Otherwise you’re left with what we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks, “legends” that are simply second-class players within Madden Ultimate Team.

Four Power-Up items were shown with the expectation they’ll be released March 24, but the other three players will likely come from the Team MVP program, which concluded on March 21.

Here’s the list, with the expected three players listed in parenthesis:

  • Lamar Jackson
  • Dee Ford
  • Pierre Desir
  • Cody Whitehair
  • (Probably Bradley McDougald)
  • (Probably Brandon Brooks)
  • (Probably Trey Flowers)
Business

Madden NFL launches multi-year collegiate program across 2,500 campuses

Published: 28/Oct/2020 14:06

by Adam Fitch

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Electronic Arts and Learfield IMG College have entered a multi-year partnership to find future esports stars at colleges.

Level Next, The College Esports League, is said to support over 2,500 campuses across the United States and starts with Madden NFL 21. Beginning on November 9, registration is open to all college students that are attending a four-year accredited university.

The league will “feature at least one of EA’s esports franchises” and serves as the gaming company’s official home for collegiate esports.

There’s no word on other titles that the league may adopt in the future but EA are also behind FIFA, NHL, and Apex Legends.

Level Next, The College Esports League
EA
Level Next, The College Esports League will initially utilize Madden NFL 21.

Taking collegiate esports to the next level?

An eight-week regular season will lead to playoffs and a culminating championship, with the winning team being named the national champions. The Fall Champions Series will have a $150,000 total prize pool.

The Madden NFL 21 Championship Series is the official top flight of competition for the American football game and includes sponsors such as Pizza Hut, Snickers, Verizon, and Gillette. The 2021 Club Championship, which is part of the series is set to give out $750,000 across its competitors.

“Until now, collegiate esports has been primarily small-scale, community-based and fragmented. This program will bring the excitement and camaraderie of college competition to a new level,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP of EA’s competitive efforts.

“By leveraging EA’s decades of experience at the intersection of traditional sports and esports, and Learfield IMG College’s unprecedented scale and position as the official rights holder for more than 200 universities and conferences, this collaboration will establish a much-needed structure within the collegiate esports ecosystem and help accelerate Madden NFL competitive gaming popularity.”

The ultimate goal of Level Next is to “unify competitive play at universities nationwide,” which also provides a platform for up-and-coming talent to show off their abilities.

Much like in traditional sports, esports organizers are looking to schools and colleges to create a talent pipeline across multiple gaming titles.