Madden NFL 20 Bowl Group-Play Results: Joke Earns Playoff Bye, Boogz Eliminated

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 7, 2020

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed and Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry compete in the finals of EA SPORTS Madden Bowl XXII, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in San Francisco.  (Donald Traill/AP Images for EA SPORTS)
Donald Traill/Associated Press

The Madden NFL 20 Bowl tournament kicked off Wednesday with Group A completing its round robin in just under five hours.

The pod's No. 1 seed, Joke, earned himself a bye in the first round of the playoffs, going 2-1 on the day with a point-differential tiebreaker. Three of the four teams in each group will advance to the playoffs, which made No. 8 Boogz the odd man out after a disastrous showing in which he went 0-3 with a minus-41 point difference.

Joke @Jokeeee_

Still the #1 seed but YIKES. Gotta be better! Fortunate to get a bye ✊🏼 Thank y’all for all the support ❤️

This year's tournament is taking place online only because of the coronavirus pandemic with gamers streaming their matches live on Twitch and YouTube. A prize pool of $220,000 is up for grabs this year with the tournament winner earning $65,000 and $25,000 going to second place. Third place and fourth place receive $20,000, fifth through eighth each gets $10,000, ninth through 12th gets $7,500 and 13th through 16th each goes home with $5,000.

It was a matchup between Joke and Boogz that opened up the day's slate and set the tone for each player's performance. As Joke ran away with a 22-6 victory, Boogz was powerless to stop him.

Here's how the scoreboard looks after Day 1:


Group A Scoreboard

(8) Boogz vs. (1) Joke: 22-6, Joke

(16) Pavan vs. (9) VoLTeRaX: 17-6, VoLTeRaX

(1) Joke vs. (9) VoLTeRaX: 28-14, Joke

(16) Pavan vs. (8) Boogz: 28-7, Pavan

(16) Pavan vs. (1) Joke: 13-12, Pavan

(9) VoLTeRaX vs. (8) Boogz: 7-3, VoLTeRaX

Madden Championship Series @MaddenLeagueOps

Final score 🚨 @Jokeeee_ 31 over @VoLTeRaX 14 Joke's swag went through the roof with this one! https://t.co/3arCLRhHSn


Group A Standings (ties decided by point differential)

1. Joke (2-1), 16 (+/-)

2. VoLTeRaX (2-1), -6 (+/-)

3. Pavan (2-1), -10 (+/-)

4. Boogz (0-3), -41 (+/-)

Madden Championship Series @MaddenLeagueOps

🚨 The Group A #MaddenBowl results are in! @Jokeeee_ wins group A to secure a playoff bye @VoLTeRaX advances to Wildcard @PavanLakhat advances to Wildcard @BoogzTuff ELIMINATED Don't miss any of the Group B action kicking off Thursday at 5PM ET on https://t.co/L0d3QFZfU4 https://t.co/MdqOekMNJL


Joke, whose real name is Raidel Brito, advances directly to the quarterfinals, while Pavan will take on the No. 2 finisher in Group B in the Wild Card Round for the right to face Joke in an elimination game. VoLTeRaX will face the third-place finisher in Group B.

The only thing that stood in the way of Joke and an undefeated record was a last-second gaffe that cost him the final game of group play against Pavan. After Pavan took a safety late in the fourth quarter, Joke tried to run out the clock instead of continuing to attack. That left him stopped just over midfield where he chose to kick a field goal for a 12-6 lead. Pavan fed off the change in momentum and marched his team to the red zone with less than 20 seconds to play.

Joke claimed that as he tried to set up his defense, he accidentally used "run commit" instead of "pass commit" and ran an all-out blitz at Pavan, who easily flicked the ball over the line of scrimmage for a touchdown with seven seconds left.

Had Boogz been able to pull out a victory in his final contest over VoLTeRaX, that would've cost Joke first place in Group A.

Boogz @BoogzTuff

Played awful. Period, won each game for my opponent. Team had nothing to with me losing.

Instead, Joke survives and moves one step closer to going home with $65,000, the championship belt and the title of Madden's best player.

Group B will begin play Thursday at 5 p.m. ET streaming live on Twitch and YouTube.