Category: News

Tecmo Madison XIII Powered by Hyperkin

By Chris Vogt
Tecmo Writer

MADISON, Wisc. — New director. New venue. Same result.

In its inaugural year under fresh management, Tecmo Madison XIII on April 8, 2017 provided its usual spectacle of 8-bit magic.

Amidst the shoulder-to-shoulder spectator crowd in a packed High Noon Saloon, joeygats (Joseph Chiltowsky) marched through a gauntlet of 292 competitors — including Regulator (Kyle Miller) in the finale — to capture his second Tecmo Super Bowl world championship title in a row.

Joeygats (left) & Regulator – Tecmo XIII Finalists


Competitors: 292
Attendees: 753
Live Stream Viewers: 161,076 — Twitch: 74,551 – Facebook Live: 86,525

“Tecmo Madison XIII was a success in every measurable way: from the size of the crowd, quality of the playing field, record number of spectators, unbelievable live stream size, awesome attitudes all around and our amazing title sponsor, Hyperkin.,” said director and Florida native Dave Murray, who took over Tecmo Madison from tournament creators Josh and Chet Holzbauer.

“We knew taking over from the kings of Madison in Josh and Chet that there was a risk of a drop-off in the participation of folks who felt this was the death of an era, but the response to keeping it alive was humbling and heartwarming,” Murray added. “We knew this community had a love for the game and the tournament that could keep this thing going and our record-breaking registrations and wait list attest to that.

“It was a gamble on our part, but the community gambled with us and it all worked out great.”

Tecmo Madison grew to a record number of participants across the two-day event at approximately 750 and a record number of live stream viewers at 150,000-plus. Having major sponsors in Hyperkin and Koei Tecmo helped solidify the event as a major tournament in the esports growing scene.

“The event blew away every metric we projected,” Murray said, noting how successful the Friday Night Retro gig was the evening before that consisted of an NBA Jam and NHL 95 tournament.

“Obviously with all of these people coming in from all over, they were happy to have an opportunity to hang out and play an additional day and that was really great to see,” Murray added. “Making this a multi-day event is something that we’ll definitely be continuing in future tournaments.

“The venue was fantastic,” Murray explained of High Noon Saloon, a two-tier tavern with ample viewing spots. “Having everyone in the same room really ramped up the excitement, and the balcony provided a great vantage point for spectators.”

Murray said while the venue provided an ideal spot to host the weekend-long event, fitting the 750 attendees comfortably throughout the two days became a noticeable concern.

“Josh and Chet had it dialed in after having it at the Badger Bowl for consecutive years, so there were, of course, expected hiccups in taking over and moving it — notably space,” Murray explained. “But, again, the community was incredible to deal with some tight quarters for opening rounds and it was amazing how many stuck around.”

Tecmo Madison XIII


The road to making Tecmo Madison XIII possible consisted of leaps and bounds — an entire year of planning, plotting, traveling, and gathering 70+ CRT televisions.

There were months of development on a new website that included a backend scoring system and real-time brackets and stats as the tournament was taking place — a Tecmo Madison first.

There were months of courting potential sponsors to provide additional prizing opportunities (like a meet and greet with Bo Jackson in Chicago) and to help defer some of the additional costs of moving to a new venue. Hyperkin supported the event in many ways, especially by providing the system hardware. Tecmo Madison used the Hyperkin RetroN 1 system throughout the day. This helped alleviate a big technical hiccup the event typically experienced — having to find, tune and rebuild old Nintendo Entertainment Systems, which were released in 1985. “Hyperkin saved the day in a lot of ways. We wanted to make a big leap this year with our tournament. To do that, we needed to double the amount of hardware in use. Without Hyperkin’s RetroN 1 support, 292 players don’t happen,” states Murray.

There were months of creating marketing assets and deploying them to build the live stream audience to give a larger platform to our players and let the online Tecmo community see what our players are up to.

“First and foremost, Josh and Chet built this thing, so this couldn’t have happened without them having started this crazy tournament and then being willing to let some guys from Florida take it over,” Murray said.

“What made it a success was a ton of hard work, and then a very willing community to join us. It took a game that still resonates to even get sponsors to answer our calls.

“It took the faith of the venue who had never even heard of video game competitions.”


Back to back undefeated runs in any sport is beyond statistical measure. He has been hit with Tecmo lightning twice at this point.

For Chiltowsky, also known as JoeyGats, to win back to back Tecmo Super Bowl world championship titles is a lightning-strike situation, Murray stated.

But what’s even more striking? Chet Holzbauer did it in 2012 and 2013.

“The competition at Madison this year was fierce,” Murray said “All-time high? That is tough to say. We are missing some heavyweights these days, but I think our field is keeping pace with being the biggest and hardest tournament there is.”

“There is always room for more top players,” Murray added. “Any given Sunday, as they say.”

While Chiltowsky was deemed as a favorite to go far at Tecmo Madison XIII, the thought of him not losing a single game was logistically doubtful. Chiltowsky, now, has not lost a single Tecmo Madison game in two years.

Joeygats (right) – Tecmo Madison XIII Champion

“A lot of those in the know rolled their eyes collectively when people knew I had JoeyGats winning it all again,” Murray said. “Having a front row seat to him killing everyone last year, it was not unrealistic for him to do it again in my opinion.”

“But then watching Regulator (Kyle Miller) at our Tundra Bowl IV qualifier in Green Bay, I figured we would have a Gats/Regulator final and was thinking Regulator would win,” Murray added.

“JoeyGats going undefeated twice is something I don’t think will ever happen again,” Murray continued.

“Back to back undefeated runs in any sport is beyond statistical measure. He has been hit with Tecmo lightning twice at this point.”

Miller credited Chiltowsky on his performance.

“That run was sick,” Miller said. “That’s why he’s the best. Only the best can overcome the different hands Tecmo deals you. The best can overcome bad luck. That’s why he wins.

“I plan on changing this, of course,” Miller poked.

Chiltowsky played in a 2016 title rematch with Aaron “The Kid” Toner, and he went through Rico Rieck, Louis Buennagel and Matt Vogt to eventually get to Kyle Miller in the title game.

“The whole thing was incredible,” Chiltowsky said. “I still can’t believe I came out on top with that field, especially since leading up to it I was getting demolished in practice hotel games prior and just not playing good.”

While this year didn’t have a Cinderella like last year in Aaron Toner reaching the finals against Chiltowsky, budding Tecmoers such as Russel Sloan (Neerrm), Isaac Wright (DisastaMasta) and Jim Persins (JimSocks) took progressions in their top-8 placements.

“Having Neerrm place third was great for the community,” Murray said. “He is such a big part of the online Tecmo scene and retrogaming, that it was fun to seem him take the world’s best to the ropes.”

Added Murray: “There is always room for the next ‘The Kid’ (Toner) to knock off Mort and Regulator. Surprises will always happen and are always welcome.”


Those who typically stick around to soak up the entire tournament experience are there for the memories made.

And that’s no exception for Kyle Miller.

“I loved the vibe,” Miller said. “While it was a little crowded at first, the outdoor patio area was a great spot for socializing. I did more talking this year to new and old friends than any other.”

Murray concurred.

“All these people who rarely see each other come together and pick right up where they left off and that is awesome,” Murray said. “Also seeing new players get welcomed in, watching them make connections and friendships that they’ll take with them after the tournament.

“Seeing the community embrace the idea of Josh and Chet passing the torch to a new generation running the tournament, yet still agreeing to be a part of it is priceless.”

Chiltowsky said he wants to continue to be a part of Tecmo Madison.

“Even though it causes me so much stress and I get super ill the night before, I’ll keep playing, absolutely,” Chiltowsky explained. “Because not all stress is bad stress. Plus, I get to spend time with a lot of people I consider good friends.”

Chiltowsky credits some of those fellow Tecmoers for his success the last two tournaments.

“Dave (Murray) is the reason any of my Madison wins are even possible. Without him I wouldn’t have made it these last two years,” Chiltowsky said. “I owe Dave all the thanks in the world, along with Mort (Francis Buennagel), Lou (Louis Buennagel) and my main key to winning, Hank the Tank (Hank De Wild).

“Winning Madison really changed my life and I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of the community,” Chiltowsky added.


Tecmo Madison XIII is only the beginning.

“We never want to lose sight of the tight-knit origins of the Madison event,” Murray said. “But due to the great work of Josh and Chet this is now the de facto world championships. As such we have more and more people wanting to participate, and we will continue to grow responsibly to address that demand.

“That growth might be via multiple events across other states, or with growing the overall size of the Madison event,” Murray stated.

Tecmo Madison has an event lined up in Dallas in August.

“If there is Tecmo in Madison, I will come,” said Miller, who will be traveling with Chiltowski to a Tecmo Madison satellite tournament in Dallas. “It’s a once a year commitment and one hell of a time.

“Where else in the world can you drink, socialize and play a video game all day?” Miller added. “I pray for many more strong years to come.”

While High Noon Saloon allowed tournament organizers to have participants in one room, which was the goal Murray said, it made for some cramped quarters in the first round.

“A larger venue is definitely in our future,” he said.

Seeding and bracketing with nearly 30-percent of players being first-timers also highlighted some challenges.

“We are already working to improve bracketing so that the pace of the tournament can speed up,” Murray said. “On that same note, with a brand new scorekeeping system we were slowed down slightly, but that was its maiden voyage. Next year, it will work to its full potential with trained scorekeepers.”

But according to Miller, it’s not about the score.

“Playing at live Tecmo tournaments never gets old. I love talking to guys about life and Tecmo,” Miller said. “Though if Tecmo was an esport, I would have a new full-time job. I’m glad companies like Hyperkin are involved now. Hopefully, they will start sponsoring us players. I would love a Regulator jersey!”

On Murray’s watch, that’s not out of the question.

Stream Stats


Twitch stats – taken from

Facebook Live

Tecmo Dallas – August 5th, 2017 – Dallas, TX

  • Max field of 64.
  • Double Elimination.
  • Top finisher will have their entrance to Tecmo Madison XIV and their flight to Madison, WI paid for by LPGE & Tecmo Madison!

The Let’s Play Gaming Expo will be held at the Irving Convention Center in Los Colinas. Just minutes from the DFW International Airport, with almost 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, the building’s unique architecture, vertical design, and interior finishes create a new niche in the marketplace. Ideally situated on 40 acres in the heart of Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center with dozens of unique restaurant options for expo breaks.

Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas
500 W Las Colinas Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75039

Starts 9:00 AM. We have til 9:00 PM to finish! 😀

To sign up, head to, enter your contact & player info and select Tecmo Super Bowl as your event!

We’ll see you in Dallas on August 5th, 2017!

We have some Tecmo heavy-weights coming out to this event!
Joeygats – Tecmo XII & XIII Champ
Regulator – Tecmo X Champ
Matty D – Madison Elite 8 Finisher
Ones – Madison Elite 8 Finisher
SuicideKing – Top Online Player
Nos – Top Online Player
Big Hock – Top Online Player
DueceLoose – Top Online Player
Do you have what it takes to compete? Now’s your chance, Texas!

Tecmo XIII is in the books. Joeygats crushed everyone with another dominating display of Tecmo Bowl prowess. Since we never rest, let’s get going on the Tecmo XIV season!

To get things started right, the first official Tecmo Madison XIV qualifier will be in Dallas, TX on August 5th, 2017 at the Let’s Play Gaming Expo. The tournament will be a max field of 64. The top finisher will have their entrance to Tecmo Madison XIV and their flight to Madison, WI paid for by LPGE!

Those coming will challenge the best of the best as both finalists from Tecmo XIII, Joeygats & Regulator, will be making the trip. Yes, you read that right. JOEYGATS & REGULATOR will be at the TMXIV qualifier! If you are in Texas or surrounding areas, you do not want to miss the incredible Tecmo tournament.

Joeygats (left) & Regulator

To sign up, head to, click General LPGE Attendee and go through the checkout process. The TMXIV Qualifier will be on Saturday, but LPGE is a Saturday & Sunday event. Choose your ticket and be sure to tick off “Would you like to compete in the Tecmo Madison Tecmo Super Bowl Tournament?”. 

We’ll see you in Dallas on August 5th, 2017!

Every fan of Tecmo Super Bowl has his own reason for loving the world’s best video game. Neil Roesler of Leonard, North Dakota gets his jollies from “the sheer calamity that ensues” when the defensive team guesses the offense’s play correctly.

Leonardite (left) w/ the Tecmo Godfather

Play-calling can never be taken lightly in competitive Tecmo. Roesler remembers playing a friend when an odd moment occurred. While first and goal, he picked a hail mary play that was blitzed on by his opponent.

“The gamesmanship is even worse with people you play against frequently,” says Roesler, alias Leonardite. “The over-thinking becomes absurd.”

But coming together with nerds of the same passion is what makes Tecmo so damn fun.

Roesler and his North Dakotan cronies, Joey S. (Dr. Frolf) and Barry A. (Bob Nelson), have traveled to Madison every year since Madison VII in 2011. Bryce M has joined them since Madison IX.

From the get-go, Roesler’s engagement with Tecmo culture has been spirited.

“The stories made at these tournaments have been absurd, rarely involve Tecmo, and should largely be confined to the dark web,” Roesler witticises.

But as human nature proves time and again, such is the stuff that fulfilling memories are made of. Buried in the guise of archaic video game simulation, many other Tecmo enthusiasts have found a rich community.

“The best part of Madison is the reunion with all the people we have met,” Roesler says.

“If everyone was a bunch of pricks buried in the stats and the results, I would have stopped going long ago. Instead, Madison is a can’t miss annual event, and my personal Tecmo calendar keeps growing a little bigger each year when the right opportunities arise.”

North Dakota has become yet another significant marker on the Tecmo community map, thanks to Roesler and his Peace Garden State squad.

The first “Burning Mort” was held in Leonard, North Dakota, on July 16th of 2016. While attended by a modest twelve competitors, the highly documented event was, by all recordable accounts, a smashing success.
Roesler insists that Burning Mort isn’t a tournament at all, but instead a “Tecmo Experience.” Involving hours of gameplay that are interrupted by frat house tomfoolery such as keg stands, the weekend was a largely shirtless bonding experience by all involved.

During the months-longed build-up to Burning Mort, the event page on produced many predictions as to what the heck this new “Tecmo Experience” would be. Fittingly, Roesler says that the closest speculation came by none other than the godfather of Tecmo.

“So it’s like the Ryder Cup on stupid,” offered Knobbe.

The Ryder Cup, of course, spins the solitary sport of golf into a cooperative adventure, while the Tecmo Ryder Cup does the same for the sport of Tecmo Super Bowl.

In his personal quest for Tecmo greatness, Leonardite has made headway during his last two Madison appearances, advancing past the first knock-out round in his last two efforts.

Look for Leonardite to garner a karmic boost from his recent contributions to the Tecmo Community via Burning Mort. A sweet sixteen birth is certainly within his reach.

But much more importantly, so are new Tecmo memories.

Neil is the author of the hilarious Tecmo Bowl meme site,


Koei Tecmo is hooking you up if you get into the Top 12! All Top 12 finishers will get a 6-pack of awesome, new Koei Tecmo releases for PS4!

  • Attack on Titan
  • Berserk and the Band of the Hawk
  • Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey
  • Toukiden 2
  • Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers
  • Dead or Alive 5 Last Round

Prizes will be distributed as a download code for use in the PS Store. Finishers will be determined by Placement > Record > Point Differential.