The esports world, like the “traditional” sports world, is a community.
And tragedy struck that community Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla.
A gunman, identified by authorities as 24-year-old gamer David Katz, opened fire at a Madden Championship Series tournament at a local gaming bar, killing two and injuring at least nine others others before taking his own life. Katz competed in the tournament and lost, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has yet to identify the victims, but their names have been widely reported by members of the gaming community: Elijah Clayton, 22, who went by the gaming alter ego TrueBoy, and Taylor Robertson, 27, who was known as SpotMePlzzz.
EA Sports, the developer of the “Madden NFL” franchise, shared the following statement on the shooting.
Dot City Gaming, Robertson’s gaming sponsor, offered the following on the deaths of the two “Madden” competitors:
Robertson, a native of Ballard, W.Va., won the Madden NFL 17 Classic, and was considered one of the game’s premier players. He also was a father.
Clayton, who hailed from Woodland Hills, Calif., was known as “consistently one of the best” competitive “Madden” players, according to his EA Sports biography page.
Members of the gaming community, as well as others who knew Robertson and Clayton, took to Twitter to honor them.
Katz, a Baltimore native., went by the alias “Bread.” He had multiple “Madden” tournament championships on his resume.
Some witnesses have said Katz lost to Clayton before opening fire. Authorities have yet to confirm those claims, however, and still are investigating a motive.