Patrick Stanley wins the World Championship of eSports for 2020

Jason Bennett,

January 24, 2021 10:25 AM

After a full season of competition, the MAME Gaming League crowns a new champion

The following article is a guest submitted article by Twin Galaxies community member and MGL Gamemaster Paul "OOO" Hornitzky for use by Twin Galaxies Editorial. 

When was the last time you played a video game competition that goes for 236 days? How about competing against 85 other gamers in open competition from 17 countries? How about not just playing one video game title, but 40 different and really tough ones? And how about winning it all to be the best in the world? Well a gamer born and bred from Georgia, home of the sweet peach cobbler and pie, likewise claimed sweet victory, to win the toughest video gaming championship in the world. Patrick Stanley became the World Champion of eSports for 2020 when he closed out the 4th quarter of the competition on Sunday. He scored a total of 3,833 points over the four MGL tournaments, more than any other competitor, and played against many of the best arcade gamers in the world.

For anyone new to the WCE*, it's not like the Marathon in the Olympics, where stamina in duration is the key. It's more like the Decathlon, with 10 different events, and then crazed by a multiplier of 4, to make up 40 of the toughest events possible. How tough?

"I found it very challenging,” Patrick said. “I was in second place after MGL43 and decided to really try and up my play for MGL44. That ended up being a really tough round for me. It started off with Bank Panic which I am pretty good at, but then the next nine games were ones I had little to no experience on. So I was having to study strategy and what gameplay I could find on those titles while trying to push my scores up. Ultimately, it was a really tight round that had me taking second place by a point. It was a really enjoyable round because I pushed myself on a lot of new titles, but it was also exhausting. I got a big break in MGL45 when Vs. Dr. Mario was selected. I’ve spent 10K+ hours on the Dr. Mario titles, so it was one where I was able to put up a big score on the first day, and then focus my time and energy on the other games. I also had a fair amount of experience with some of the other games that round, so it wasn’t having to start from scratch."

After achieving a great 2nd place in both MGL43 and MGL44, which was a tremendous battle over 118 days of very challenging competition, Patrick won MGL45, and then he finished in 4th place for MGL46, to seal the title. Whilst many gamers called it a "grind" to play so many tough titles over such a very long period of time, Patrick looked at the challenge in a very different and positive way.

"I made a point to walk at least 1-2 miles every day, and some days was getting upwards of 4-5 miles,” he said. “It helped me feel better physically, but also allowed me to clear my head from gaming and work. I also started teaching myself to sail and got back into rock climbing. I think all of those things helped my gaming performance tremendously. When I exercise regularly, I feel better physically and mentally, which makes it easier for me to focus on the task in front of me, and accomplish it with less effort than it might otherwise take. With a 40 game championship, this made it easier for me to sustain a higher level of performance for the entire year, without getting burned out as easily."

And so it proved to be a very effective method for Patrick, that brought excellent results and a higher level of stamina.

A world cloud inspired summary of a full season of MGL competition [Source: Paul Hornitzky]

It's often difficult to measure the passion for video games when just watching a scoreboard, so I asked Patrick how did he get into video games?

"I have a couple of older brothers who are eight and nine years older than me, so by the time I came along, our family already had an Atari 2600,” he began. “So I started playing that from a pretty early age. I was also fortunate to be in a town large enough to support an arcade, but small enough that the arcade wasn’t really affected by the crash -- it’s called Fun Factory and still exists today. So through the late 80s when my brothers went to the Arcade, I got to tag along. Being young and low on pocket money, I focused on games I could last the longest on and that didn’t have long lines. By the early 90s those games were regulated to a back corner to make room for Street Fighter 2 and similar ones. I liked those games, but there was always a line for them, so I hung out in the classic section and mostly played those. When I was 8, my parents got me a Gameboy for Christmas. I was a swimmer, and traveling to swim meets and waiting at swim meets provided a ton of downtime that I could spend playing the Gameboy, and that’s really where I honed my skills." So thanks to Nintendo for a hot portable video machine, an Arcade with long lines, and a healthy competitive streak, Patrick fine tuned his skills over the last few decades to win the ultra tough title.

Now that all of the arcade machines are turned off from completing the season, I asked Patrick how does it feel to be the World Champion of eSports?

"I'm feeling really happy about it,” he confessed. “I went into it wanting to see how well I could finish, so to win it is a pretty awesome feeling,” he said. “I've had some success with previous MGLs, so I felt I could be competitive, but there are just so many unknowns in a tournament of this length, like the games that are drawn, the players who show up, and other life challenges, that it's hard to know how it'll all shake out in the end." Well it shaked out extremely well for Patrick Stanley, with congratulations to him on his extraordinary achievement. A special mention also goes out to all the other 85 competitors from WCE4. Champions are not made, and great stories are not told, without all the gamers who make up the competition.

Patrick Stanley became the 4th World Champion of eSports in WCE history. He now joins previous champions Daniel Larsen from Denmark (WCEI), Chris Clemente from New Jersey (WCEII), and Jason Vasiloff from Michigan (WCEIII). For more information on this story and the full breakdown of scores, competitors, prize money and games, you can follow this link.

Cover image source: Paul Hornitzky

*WCE/MGL is not affiliated with Twin Galaxies


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