Versus Signs Madden 2016 Champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr.

Versus Signs Madden 2016 Champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr.

EA Madden NFL 16 Champion Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr. (Photo: ESPN)

ESPN - September 8, 2016

In a major pick-up for competitive Madden, Frank "Stiff" Sardoni Jr. signed Thursday with Versus Sports. The contract will see the 2016 championship holder compete full time in the Madden NFL '17 Championship Series.

Sardoni is fresh to the Madden game, having started his competitive career only three years ago. Toppling the two-time Madden Challenge champion Eric "Problem" Wright this past June was a landmark victory, and now Sardoni looks to continue his run into the Madden Majors.

For Stiff, signing with Versus means not having to approach sponsors or juggle too many concerns on his own. Sardoni gets to focus more on his content creation, like his YouTube channel, and on improving his game.

"I'm making this my primary thing right now," Sardoni told ESPN, "because I can see what the future holds for Madden and what EA is doing to develop this as an esport."

Versus, a relatively new organization in esports, boasts its first signing in Sardoni. A conversation with founder Manny Anekal indicated that it might not be the last, however. Anekal told ESPN that Versus is "absolutely looking into other athletes" to add to the roster, hinting at more announcements to come. Anekal also identified some high-level sponsorships the team is working toward, pursuing "non-endemic" brands to work with Versus.

"I want to build this up slowly, and from the ground up, starting with Frank," Anekal said.