SAN FRANCISCO - A teenager with Bay Area ties has become the youngest winner of a Madden Championship Series tournament.
Peyton Tuma, also known as "Dez," is an avid Madden 23 player.
At 17, playing in his first tournament ever, Dez became the youngest competitor to win a Madden Championship Series when he beat veteran player, Cleff the God.
The 41 to 28 victory in the Ultimate Thanksgiving Major netted Dez a $75,000 grand prize.
"It actually means a lot to me because the fanbase is a lot of younger people my age," Dez said. "I was the underdog. I was the low seed in the tournament going in."
Andrew Echanique, the Madden NFL Competitive Gaming Commissioner, said organized competitive gaming has the same characteristics as traditional sports.
"You have to have teamwork, strategy, a formula to win, but it doesn't have the same physical barrier to entry," Echanique said. "Anyone can come from playing on your couch and becoming a global champion."
"Dez" described playing Madden as a chess match between two people playing at the highest level.
He now qualifies for the final major tournament, the Ultimate Madden Bowl, which will coincide with Super Bowl 57.
Before he was known as "Dez" on Madden, he played football for the San Ramon Valley T-Birds. He went to Monte Vista High in Danville and recently moved to Southern California.
A lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, Dez is now attracting attention from some of the very players he idolizes.
"Dez Bryant actually hit me up on Twitter after I won and before I won and followed me on Twitter so that was insane, he said. "My favorite player right now, Micah Parsons, he hit me up saying, Congrats Champ, and followed me on Twitter. It's just unbelievable."
He said he will continue playing until he doesn't feel like playing anymore. He plans to use $75,000 in prize money for college expenses.