REDWOOD CITY, CA (CelebrityAccess) — The CEO of Electronic Arts, publishers of the Madden NFL 19 game, said the company will cancel the remainder of this year’s Madden Classic qualifying events after three people were killed at an event in Jacksonville, Florida.
In a statement released late Monday, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said the events were on hiatus while the company conducts “a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators” at the events.
Affected events include Sept. 1 and 2 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia, Sept. 15 and 16 at the Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California, and September 22 and 23 at Gameshark2 in Carrollton, Texas.
The shootings at the EA event on Sunday targeted two players at the tournament, Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, West Virginia, and Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California, who were both well-known players in the world of competitive Madden football.
Alexander Madunic, who was wounded in the shooting, said that the alleged gunman David Katz had also competed in the tournament and became upset after an early elimination.
“He was kinda upset about that, so I’m guessing that had something else to do with it, too,” Madunic said.
The full statement from EA:
To Our Players and the Gaming Community,
I wanted to share some thoughts about the horrific and senseless act of violence that occurred in Jacksonville at the Madden competitive gaming event. I know many of us, myself included, are filled with shock and grief. Our teams have been working non-stop to do what we can to respond to this terrible situation.
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.
CEO, Electronic Arts