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Hepsen competes, learns life lessons from ‘Madden’

Photo by Juan Carlos Ramirez ’18 – Jack Hepsen ’18 plays Madden Mobile competitively in a game-mode called Ultimate Team.

By Matthew Zacher ’18

Jack Hepsen ’18 not only plays “Madden 16,” but also involves himself in Madden culture on social media and heightens the excitement of the game by playing competitively online.

Hepsen plays “Madden,” a NFL inspired video game, in a game-mode called Ultimate Team. In this game-mode, Hepsen collects players in the form of cards and uses them to play against other teams online.

Jackson Holinger ’18 has been playing “Madden 16” Ultimate Team for six to eight months, and he frequently plays with and against Hepsen.

“He is competitive and he is a good sport too,” Holinger said.

“He will challenge people and wager with them for good players. He’ll offer money too. He plays for the money or the players, and he will eventually just sell them or pocket the money.”

Holinger said he believes that Hepsen is very ambitious.

“I could totally see him taking advantage of opportunities and going big with projects, instead of just being hesitant,” Holinger said.

Hepsen said he started playing Madden when “Madden 12” came out.

“I enjoy playing it, but it kind of takes over your life,” Hepsen said.

He is very involved in the Madden community as well, and he said whenever he takes a break from Madden, it is the community that brings him back.

“I used to Twitch stream when I was bored, and a lot people hung out with me there. It’s more or less a Brophy club, just online.”

He is active on Twitter as well @jackhepsen.

“I enter give aways and give away cards,” he said.

Hepsen takes a graphic design course, and uses his artistic ability to make money through Madden also.

“I make custom Madden cards for people for like 5 bucks,” Hepsen said.

Mr. John Damaso ’97 is Hepsen’s Honors English II teacher and said he was unaware of Hepsen’s hobby.

“He shows unfettered curiosity,” he said. “You know when students get really excited about something, they almost forget where they are and you can just see in their face that they’re excited? He definitely has that when we are discussing certain things in class.”

Mr. Damaso said that the ambitious analysis of Hepsen is fair, but he said that he is also humble.

“He can be deferential and wanting to please,” Mr. Damaso said. “But more than anything, he follows his curiosity.”

Colin Besh ’18 also knows Hepsen well and plays with him frequently.

“He is a nice guy. He’s very ambitious,” Besh said. “He wants to take over all of Madden.”

Besh has become accustomed to Hepsen’s playing style.

“He runs cheesy plays,” he said. “There’s this little out route that he does, I don’t even know how to stop it.”

Hepsen agrees with Mr. Damaso, Besh and Holinger about his ambition.

“Yeah, I’d describe myself as ambitious,” Hepsen said.

“I’m going into business,” Hepsen said. There’s no question about it. I like money and I like to do my own thing, and that’s the only place you can really do it is business.”

Hepsen said that, so far, he has earned more from the game than he has spent.

Hepsen said his experiences in Madden have taught him valuable life lessons, such as not becoming arrogant if he is winning.

“It actually has made me into a better person,” he said. “By learning these things through virtual games rather than through the real world where those mistakes could actually matter a lot.”