The 16-year-old video gamer won the Madden NFL International Championship, a companion contest to the Madden Challenge for U.S. gamers. Challenged by the U.S. winner, George’s Philadelphia Eagles thumped his American rival 49-7 at Aloha Stadium in the Xbox 360 Madden NFL 06 football game.
“He was talking a lot,” George said Thursday of Jarvis Thompson, the 18-year-old American champion who played as the Oakland Raiders. “I didn’t say anything to him after the game. I just let my game do the talking.”
The contest was shown on the stadium’s big screen during a Pro Bowl practice Feb. 10.
The student from Central Tech High School left Hawaii unbeaten, with an Xbox 360, an international title and bragging rights over Thompson.
He also won a free trip to the NFL city of his choice and opted for San Diego.
George won the international crown in style, defeating the German champion 20-14 in overtime with both players controlling the Philadelphia Eagles. The Canadian gambled on fourth and one on his own 29-yard line to keep the winning drive alive.
“I was very nervous. I didn’t think I was going to get it,” he said of the gamble.
He scored a TD a few plays later to secure the title.
George had previously beaten the Mexican champion 19-0 and another American entrant 27-0.
Not bad for someone who didn’t think he would survive the Canadian regional qualifier. Or who was used to the game on PlayStation 2 rather than Xbox 360.
George kept winning at the regional event by playing as the Minnesota Vikings. He switched to the Eagles in January and took the Canadian title, defeating defending champion Mike Morra along the way in the matchup of 16 regional winners
George, a cornerback and running back at Central Tech, trailed Ottawa’s Matthew Karan 14-0 after yielding two first-quarter interceptions in the Canadian championship game.
Down 14-7 with 45 seconds remaining, George drove the ball 64 yards for a tying TD. He won on a field goal in overtime.
That earned him the free trip to Hawaii and a berth in the international tournament. George headed to Honolulu with a family friend.
“It was fun. Amazing. Beautiful,” he said of Hawaii.
George is a Ravens fan, but chose the Eagles because Donovan McNabb is his favourite quarterback.
Thompson, the American champion, can console himself with the $100,000 US first prize that went to the winner of the U.S. Madden Challenge, a 32-city event.
He perhaps earned it. Organizers say he and five friends drove 19 hours in a four-seater car from Maryland to Minnesota for a regional qualifier last October.
To make matters worse, the car had a broken window that wouldn’t close. And the driver feel asleep and hit a deer en route. There was also the matter of a speeding ticket.
Ironically, Thompson ended up beating one of his fellow travellers in the regional final.