Chat with MLG's Prodigy
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Major League Gaming player, Van Berardino aka Prodigy, will stop by to chat about his experience with MLG.
Berardino is the winner of the EA Sports Challenge Orlando competition and is one of the final eight competitors of this season's Madden Challenge Finals. After playing solid for the entire season, Prodigy made a huge run in Orlando and defeated Evil Ken in the final match. With a top four Finals finish last season, Prodigy will look to finally win it all next week at the Madden Challenge Finals.
Send your questions now and join Prodigy Friday at 4 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:05 PM)
Prodigy is here!
Cre8ive (New Zealand)
Madden has been my favourite sportgame for a while, Just because I follow the NFL regulary, did following the NFL get you into Madden or what was your reason?
Prodigy (4:07 PM)
Definitely, following the NFL was what brought me to Madden. My dad introduced me to the NFL, watched it every Sunday. I was really into the sport. When I was young, I wanted to play in the NFL, but when I got older, I realized I wasn't good enough. So, I wanted to play any simulation I could. Tecmo Bowl, Madden, anything. Then I got older still and saw the gaming leagues and the money and said why not go for the money.
What kind of defenses do you like to run?
Prodigy (4:08 PM)
The defense I'm running right now is 1-5-5. My strategy is to bring as much pressure as I can on the opponent, like the Jets. I blitz everyone. I'll come down and make a read and take it away. So much pressure is coming. If I take away your first read, it gives a chance for sacks and INTs. It's risk vs. reward.
Do you have to pick one team to play with during the entire tournament? Which team do you like to usE?
Prodigy (4:09 PM)
The tournament allows you to play any team at any time. But I've never switched a team mid tournament. You always want to go into it knowing the schemes and the same personnel. My team is the Dallas Cowboys.
What will be the key to you winning it all this year?
Prodigy (4:10 PM)
This year, as opposed to other years, I've gotten closer the other three, I've stuck with what got me here. I've tried to change it up, but the thing that's gotten people success here is perfecting what they're doing. It might not be surprising, but it works.
Is it more important to focus on your run game or passing game to become a better player?
Prodigy (4:12 PM)
I think you definitely want to focus on your passing game. Running the ball is definitely important. Having good stick work. But you have to pass the ball to win, especially against good run defenses. Passing will never be locked down. If you can make reads and break down defenses in certain areas, that will help. But you can't pass every play so you still need to run the ball. It's just like the NFL.
Cody B. (stuckinGB) (Lakeland, FL)
Prodigy, Congratz on the win, what will you take from this season to become better next season?
Prodigy (4:13 PM)
This year was different than any other year, because of the transition to MLG. Less tournaments. The whole mental preparation is different. They are grueling. Double elimination. Now, what's really going to help me is my mental preparation. Now that I've been through it, it will help me for next year, knowing what it takes to win.
Booshy Boy (NAPA)
how did u get to be so dominate at this world famous game...and how do you continue year after year??
Prodigy (4:15 PM)
It starts with you have to be able to test yourself. You actually have to play people that are good in order to learn. I started just playing online. In 2005, when I first started playing competitively, I went online and tried to beat the best players online. The only way you get better is good competition. If you play against your friends, you'll never get better, just better than them. That and my love of NFL and knowing about the game, has helped me in Madden. Knowing the situations, the rules, it's helped me when I play the game.
Booshy (Napa California)
How long have you been playing Madden...what is your favorite year(as far as game play e.i. 01' 05') what are your keys to winning for the Madden Challenge Finals
Prodigy (4:16 PM)
I've been playing Madden in 2001 when it first came out for PS2. Madden '07 was my favorite year. On the XBox was the best Madden ever made. Those games, because it was out for a long time. With the Next Gen systems it's on its way.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the worst Video Game that you ever Played?
Prodigy (4:17 PM)
I can name a Madden that was probably the worst I've ever played. Madden '06 for XBox 360. Terrible. I'll be brutally honest here. Madden's a great game.
how did you get into competitive gaming? how much longer do you think you can play?
Prodigy (4:19 PM)
I got into gaming in 2005. Now, I'm 22 going to turn 23. This year, I haven't played as much in the past. But it's Madden. It's just the NFL. The only thing that will hold me back is if something huge happens in my personal life and not allowing me to play. But if I have any personal time, I will continue to play. And if I get the chance to play for 50 grand every year, you're never going to see me stop.
Prodigy (4:20 PM)
I just want to thank all the fans out there for supporting me and asking these questions. Special shout out to my guys, Alliance, for helping me get to Miami. Special thanks to MLG for putting this together. It's an exciting opportunity for the gamers.