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Drini Gjoka

Drini Gjoka

Drini Gjoka (born November 27, 1999) is a professional gamer based out of Washington D.C. In December 2017, he became the youngest person to ever win a EA Sports Madden NFL Championship Series belt. In August 2018, Drini Gjoka was shot in the thumb during a Madden 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Four people were killed in the tournament while 11 were injured.

Early Life & Education

Drini Gjoka was born and raised in Washington D.C. His parents immigrated to the United States from Albania moving to Washington D.C after winning a visa lottery. In 2017, he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C.. [1]

Gaming Career

Drini Gjoka first began playing Madden NFL games at the age of six, playing Madden 07, after being taught by his older brothers. He started focusing on competitive Madden after watching Zack “Serious Moe” Lane win the Madden 16 Challenge in 2015.

After finishing high school, Drini took a year off to fully focus on Madden.

In that year Drini made $120,000 playing Madden.

On December 22, 2017, Drini won the Madden 18 Challenge after beating Young Kiv 40-19.

He won $35,000 in the tournament and a place on the Ultimate League playing for the Dallas Cowboys eSports team.

Drini is well known for his "outstanding defense" and "top-tier running game" according to his EA Sports profile. For good luck he always wears a bandanna during games. [1]

Madden 19 Shooting

On August 26, 2018 four people were killed and 11 were injured during a mass shooting at a Madden 19 tournament.

Drini Gjoka was shot in the thumb during the mass shooting and live tweeted about the shooting.

The shooting occurred at the Jacksonville Landing complex during a qualifying event for the Madden 19 Tournament at the Good Luck Have Fun video game room inside Chicago Pizza. The lone gunman responsible for the shooting, identified by Jacksonville Police as white male, was found dead having committed suicide right after the shooting.

Drini Gjoka tweeted that he was “lucky” and that his thumb was hit by a bullet.

“Worst day of my life,” Gjoka tweeted Sunday afternoon.

“I will never take anything for granted ever again,” he added in a later tweet.

“Life can be cut short in a second.”


Citation Linkeasports.comEA Sportsprofile of Drini Gjoka as a competitive Madden NFLplayer
Aug 26, 2018, 8:39 PM
Aug 26, 2018, 8:40 PM
Aug 26, 2018, 8:40 PM
Citation Linkyoutu.beDrini + Bandana = Unstoppable Madden Force | Inside the Madden Ultimate League
Aug 26, 2018, 8:49 PM
Citation Linkthewilsonbeacon.comFormer student Drini Gjoka finds success in professional Madden
Aug 26, 2018, 8:51 PM
Citation Linkfacebook.comDrini Gjoka's Facebookprofile
Aug 26, 2018, 8:54 PM
Citation Linkforbes.comMadden Championship Finals Results: Drini Shakes Off Early Issues To Take Home Prize
Aug 26, 2018, 9:00 PM
Citation Linkfortune.com'Mass Shooting' Erupts During Jacksonville Madden Tournament That Was Being Livestreamed
Aug 26, 2018, 9:19 PM
Citation Linkcnn.comMass shooting at video game tournament in Jacksonville leaves multiple dead
Aug 26, 2018, 9:24 PM
Citation Linknews4jax.comShooter dead after mass shooting at Jacksonville Landing
Aug 26, 2018, 9:28 PM
Citation Linktime.comMultiple Killed, Suspect Dead: The Latest on the Madden Tournament Shooting in Florida
Aug 26, 2018, 9:31 PM
Citation Linktwitter.comDrini Gjoka on Twitter
Aug 26, 2018, 9:34 PM