Handle: joeygats
Known As: Gats/Joe
Madison Record: 18-2
Madison Champion: Tecmo XII
Elite 8 Appearances: 1

Joeygats is an interesting study in how the real-life version of a player is different than the person with the handle on the message board. One of the previously most hated players in the online community, Joeygats has been mired in a few minor scandals and has been banned at various times from online leagues. Gats’ crimes include rampant cheating, accusations of repeated rage quitting, and a general sense that Gats is always up to something when playing online. Joeygats, however, is one of the best live Tecmo players around, his quiet personality and unusual way of sitting and playing the game creating a riveting spectacle. The constant theme running through Gats’ play both online and in live play is a frightening dedication to the game itself and to winning. The cheating, the rage quitting, the frankly bizarre antics at tournaments are all because the game literally means more to him than anything else in the world. Tecmo the game is literally his life – he has no other passions, no other pursuits. Joey is the person who managed to surpass Sconnie’s record for games played in the Tecmo Players Circuit, spending hours at the Philadelphia Public Library using a computer there to rack up game after game after game. Tecmo is his love, it is his life, and it is our fault if we do not understand that dedication.

Joeygats’ play style is built around the pass with a grudging acceptance that running is important. Not the greatest tapper, Joey spends games making sure his runners have blockers and that his receivers have space to move. Given enough acceleration room and the right player, Joey has an array of feints, fakes, and maneuvers to insure he’s gaining positive yards while setting up the man defender for a block from a drone or a small misstep costing speed. He is a dedicated defender, trying at all times to force a ball carrier into a gang tackle with himself and his drones. His play style is built around numbers on both offense and defense while using his superior experience – 1000+ recorded games and counting – to overwhelm his opponent. Unfortunately for Joey, his play style is also attached to his personality. If he isn’t comfortable, he falls apart. Joey does not necessarily lose because he is worse than his opponent, he loses because his mental strength disappears at the wrong time.

A good analogy for Joeygats is Dabo Swinney. Like Dabo, Joey is going to throw the ball around the park as he considers this the best way for him to win. Like Dabo, he’ll grudgingly run the ball since that will keep defenses honest and allow him to score enough to win. Like Dabo, his defenses will be built around throwing as many bodies at the problem until it’s solved. Like Dabo, he’s a quirky guy with an odd sense of what works and what doesn’t on the field. And like Dabo, his dedication to winning above all things lands him into hot water occasionally and his need for things to be his way causes any deviation from script to be multiplied exponentially.

Watch a reply of Joey’s championship game:
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Joeygats’ recent Thunderdome IX Elite 8 match vs DisastaMasta is one to watch.
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