Raidel "Joke" Brito won the 2020 Madden Bowl this past week in dominating fashion, shutting out his opponent in the final 17-0.
But the most impressive aspect of Brito's dominant run in the video game's premier tournament is that he didn't throw a single pass the entire competition.
Yes, you read that right. Not one. In fact, Brito did not even have an actual quarterback playing the position.
Brito signed Tress Way to his roster and made the Redskins punter his de-factor quarterback. In an interview with D.C. Sports Live, Brito explained the rationale behind the move.
"The reason why I went with Tress Way as a punter and as a quarterback is because he's lefty," Brito said. "In Madden, if you have a lefty quarterback, they hand off the ball with their right hand and righty quarterbacks hand off the ball with their left hand."
The gamer explained that in addition to Way, he had a very low-rated Eli Manning on his roster for whenever he wanted to put a right-handed QB in the game. Brito would switch back and forth between the two, confusing his opponent's defense in the process.
"I wanted to have a lefty and a righty so I could run the ball in a few different ways," he said. "It made it so you had to have a complete run defense against lefties and righties. In Madden, most people are used to just playing against righty quarterbacks, and most people's defense stops only righty quarterbacks."
Brito explained he has no actual rooting interest in the Redskins or Way, but he picked up the Washington punter because of some of the game mode constraints. The tournament was played under a salary cap mode, and Way was one of the lowest-capped players in the game.
"The reason why I went with Tress Way was we were playing in a mode called 'salary cap,'" he said. "We had to fit in a team with 1,325 points. Tress Way was the lowest capped lefty as a punter. I could have also gone with a kicker who was lefty, but there was nobody lower than 12 cap, what Tress Way was."
Like in real football, winning the field position battle is an important factor in Madden, too. But that battle is even more important for someone who runs an offense like Brito, drawing up run plays 100 percent of the time.
Brito explained that while he initially picked up Way to be his lefty quarterback, having him play his actual role as the punter helped him significantly. Way has a higher-rated kick power rating than most other punters in the game, which helped Brito win the field position battle he puts so much emphasis on.
"When you don't have a quarterback and you run the ball every single play, you have to win the field position battle," Brito said. "He was kind of a dual-threat for me where he was punting the ball and taking some snaps under center."
Way was asked about Brito's victory during the latest episode of the Redskins Talk podcast, and the punter gave his own explanation as to why opponents were unable to stop the gamer's offense with him at QB.
"Whenever you carry a career QBR that is higher than Tom Brady's, just the thought that this guy might throw scares the heck out of people," Way joked. "If that was enough to take somebody all the way to the finish line, I'm happy to be a part of that."
Brito explained that he has never met Way before, but after this, he's hoping to meet him and get a signed jersey to hang up on his wall next to the championship belt he won.
"He was definitely a big part of me winning this tournament," Brito said. "Without Tress Way on my team, without having a punter I can put in the game to be my lefty quarterback and somebody who was going to help me win field position, I probably don't win the tournament."
The tournament victory was the first of Brito's competitive gaming career. Winning the tournament had a special meaning to Brito, who dedicated the competition to his late friend.
"One of my really good friends in the Madden community, Taylor Robertson, passed away in a mass shooting on August 26th," he said. "I knew I was going to dedicate this tournament to him."
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