Electronic Arts has taken action in the aftermath of Sunday’s deadly shooting at a Madden Championship Series tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
David Katz killed three, including himself, at the tournament, which was a qualifier for the Madden Classic, the first “Madden” EA Major competition of the 2018 season. In response, EA has elected to cancel the three remaining qualifying tournaments on the schedule.
“While these qualifying events are operated independently by partners, we work with them to ensure competitive integrity and to gather feedback from players,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a statement. “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.”
Prior to turning the gun on himself, the 24-year-old Katz, who reportedly had lost during the tournament, killed two prominent “Madden” players and injured at least nine others at The Landing, a popular shopping/dining marketplace in downtown Jacksonville.
“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,” Wilson said. “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.
” … 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.”
United States President Donald Trump addressed the shooting for the first time Monday night.
Katz, who reportedly had a history of mental illness, specifically targeted fellow gamers, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Monday, via CNN. Authorities have yet to determine a motive for Katz’s attack, however.
The remaining Madden Classic qualifiers were scheduled to be held Sept. 1-2 in Virginia, Sept. 15-16 in California and Sept. 22-23 in Texas. The finals are scheduled for Oct. 11-13 in Las Vegas.
EA has yet to announce whether the qualifiers and/or the finals will be rescheduled.
Thumbnail photo via Electronic Arts