Despite the epic build-up, it ends as another one-sided match, with Zzyzx’s team of Magneto, Cable, and Doctor Doom sweeping Real Deal Neal in three matches. After hoisting a Stoned Gamer championship chain necklace and a literal treasure chest of edibles, Zzyzx marches off the stage to high fives and hugs.
Although in the end I’m still hesitant to place this type of e-gaming in the same category as traditional professional sports, it’s undeniably a serious competition. Zzyzx traveled three hours to play, and who am I to say his stone-cold sweep wasn’t a momentous achievement. So like any good sports reporter, I corner him afterwards for a recap interview. And like most athletes, his victory leaves him at a loss for words.