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EA cancels remaining Madden qualifier events after tragic shooting

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It was with heavy hearts that we reported earlier this week that during a Madden NFL Classic qualifier event in Jacksonville, Florida in the USA, two esports competitors were shot and killed, while several others were injured. The shooter, 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, also passed away, reportedly due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he opened fire on the competitors and crowd.

Related: Two killed in shooting at Jacksonville Madden video game tournament

This all reportedly happened after Mr Katz lost his qualifying round. It was, without a doubt, an extremely tragic and disastrous turn of events and our thoughts are with the families affected.

Even though Electronic Arts is the publisher behind the Madden games, these types of qualifying events are operated by independent partners. This is, of course, the first time EA is dealing with such a tragic situation and they have, in my opinion, reacted in a great way, cancelling the remaining three qualifiers.

In a statement, EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, noted that they are all filled with shock and grief, calling it a horrific and senseless act of violence. EA’s teams have been working around the clock to do what they can to respond to this situation.

Read the statement from Andrew Wilson below:

First and foremost, it is an unthinkable tragedy that Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton, two of our top Madden competitors, lost their lives in this way. They were respected, positive and skilled competitors, the epitome of the players and personalities at the heart of our community.  

Their love of competition was evident through their participation in our events over the past few years.  We are committed to supporting Taylor and Elijah’s families through this difficult time, and we send our deepest sympathies to their loved ones, to those injured yesterday, and everyone affected. The event was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, our first Madden EA Major competition of this season.  

While these qualifying events are operated independently by partners, we work with them to ensure competitive integrity and to gather feedback from players.  We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators. We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events.  

We’ve all been deeply affected by what took place in Jacksonville. This is the first time we’ve had to confront something like this as an organization, and I believe the first time our gaming community has dealt with a tragedy of this nature.  Please take time to support each other through this challenging time.” - Source

Debates surrounding American gun laws and the second amendment rights are sure to continue and escalate after this tragic event. It will surely also be an eye-opener for all tournament organizers going forward.

What do you think about EA’s response to this tragic and horrific incident? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source: EA

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