Winona State senior Ryan Danczak will be boarding a plane for the first time ever this weekend.
And the inaugural flight couldn’t have come under sweeter circumstances.
The 22-year-old Marshfield, Wis. native won the Richfield, Minn., tour leg of the Best Buy Ultimate Gamers Showdown, coming out on top of a 50-player field on Thursday, Dec. 12. All in front of nearly 500 spectators, including Vikings running back Toby Gerhart.
Danczak won an all-expenses paid trip to Dallas to compete against seven of the nation’s best Madden 25® players on the world’s largest HD screen at AT&T Stadium.
Oh, and the $1,000 Best Buy gift card Danczak got for cruising through the tournament could snag him the HDTV he has wanted. But the odds say the generous gamer’s mother, Rose Ann, will be the real winner.
“Mom’s always right and they always have the final word,” said the math education major who will be student teaching in January. “It might end up being a washing machine and dryer set.”
Playing Madden 25® weekly for five to 10 hours online — but never in a live tournament — paid off for Danczak. The former two-time All-State wide receiver for Marshfield High School knows his Xs and Os, and he rode the San Francisco 49ers to the title on Thursday.
“Anyone that knows me knows I get excited about NFL football,” he said. The Ultimate Gamers Showdown is played on the PlayStation® 4. “The game translates to Madden. What beats Cover 2 defense in real life will beat a Cover 2 defense in Madden.”
Finals week has Danzcak’s girlfriend unable to be his plus-one on the all-expenses paid trip to Dallas. Instead, the Vikings fan – yes, a Vikings fan who grew up in central Wisconsin – is bringing his roommate Daniel Adler.
Once at AT&T Stadium, Danczak will meet Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, current Cowboys star wide receiver Dez Bryant, and even rap star The Game. First prize is a $1,500 Best Buy gift card, in addition to owning nationwide bragging rights.
“I’m looking forward to meeting Dez Bryant,” he said. “I actually traded him off my fantasy football lineup halfway through the year. I’m going to have to apologize to him for that.”
Click here for more information on Best Buy’s Ultimate Gamers Showdown.
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