Madden 19 developer Electronic Arts has canceled the remaining Madden Classic qualifying events following a shooting at the Jackonsville stage.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson penned a letter to players and fans of Madden esports. The letter, posted on the EA website, condemns the actions of David “Bread” Katz, who killed Taylor “spotmeplzzz” Robertson and Eli “Trueboy” Clayton during a Madden Classic qualifying event in Florida. Eleven others were injured during the incident—10 shot and one injured elsewhere at the scene.
Wilson said the qualifying event is “operated independently” by partner groups, but that EA works with organizers to “ensure competitive integrity.” In the wake of the shooting, EA has decided to cancel the remaining qualifying events scheduled throughout September in Virginia, California, and Texas. These four events are intended to act as lead-ins for a larger event scheduled to be held Oct. 11 to 13 in Las Vegas. Details regarding the October event have not been confirmed.
EA will instead “run a comprehensive review of safety protocols” to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators that attend these events. “We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events,” Wilson said.
Katz brought two guns, extra ammo, and an “after market” laser sight with him to the Jacksonville event, all of which he purchased in Maryland, police said at a press conference yesterday. He “clearly targeted” gamers at the GLHF Game Bar, according to Jacksonville sheriff Mike Williams. Williams said Katz passed other patrons in the front of the pizza restaurant and focused his attention on his fellow Madden competitors. Around 130 to 150 patrons were inside the building when Katz started shooting.
A motive has not been confirmed by police.