LAKELAND, Fla. — Christian Lomenzo just shocked the video-gaming world.
Even better, he won $35,000 doing it.
The 20-year-old junior at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland was an unknown gamer until a few weeks ago.
Then he traveled to Redwood City, California, and beat the world’s best video game stars in the EA Sports Madden NFL 19 Challenge.
“Coming into the tournament, I wasn’t expecting to win,” says Lomenzo, a business analytics major. “When I got back to Poly, my friends were like ‘Hey, buy me some AirPods’ or ‘Give me some money.’ I was like ‘I can’t do that!’”
Christian will instead use his prize money to pay off some of his tuition. That seems fair.
He says his studies at the university helped him become the champion gamer he is.
“At Florida Poly, they teach you to think outside the box for different solutions outside of the norm,” Lomenzo says. “That’s something I can implement in Madden.”
Christian is also know by his gamer handle “Chritobin.” He sealed his championship victory with a touchdown run in overtime.
“As the tournament went on, people were like ‘Who is this guy? Who’s Chritobin?’” says Lomenzo.
Now they know.
And next time they’ll be ready for him.
Next up? The Madden Bowl.
The California tournament occurs the last week of April. The first place prize is $40,000.
If he wins that, a career in video gaming isn’t so far-fetched.
“I’d love to win the Madden Bowl,” he says. “But we’re going to take it one game at a time.”