On Sunday 26th, in Jacksonville, Florida, an Madden NFL 19 tournament was taking place between pros and semi-pro gamers, with football enthusiasts from around the nation coming together.
This carefree scene of gamers enjoying the game they loved was turned into a horror story by the actions of one man. David Katz, 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, was in town for the tournament himself, having previously represented the Buffalo Bills in the competitive Madden 17 year. According to reports from those present, Katz lost a tournament game earlier in the day. He went to his car and returned with two handguns that he had purchased in Maryland the previous month, entering the venue, passing by restaurant-goers to specifically target the other tournament competitors. In a cruel and ghoulish circumstance, the livestream that was recording the tournament caught the final moments of Elijah ‘trueboy’ Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California, as Katz’ laser sight settled over his chest before he opened fire. Taylor ‘SpotMePlzzz’ Robertson, 28, of Giles, West Virginia, father of one, member of Dot City Gaming and representative of the Tennessee Titans, was also killed in the shooting. Katz ended the shooting by taking his own life.
At least six other attendees were injured, including 19-year old Drini Gjoka of compLexity Gaming, who luckily escaped with only a gunshot wound to his thumb.
My statement pic.twitter.com/kwAfOs326T
— Drini Gjoka (@YoungDrini) August 27, 2018
While legislators are predictably doing very little about the latest Florida mass shooting, the games industry has snapped into action. Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA Games who develop and publish the Madden series, issued a statement today. He announced that until a comprehensive review of security protocols was completed in association with the independent partners who run the Madden Classic qualifiers, all tournaments would be suspended to protect players and attendees.
A statement from Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson: https://t.co/k4Z2H115gh
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) August 28, 2018
Organizers at gaming convention PAX West, which this year begins on August 31st, are intensifying security in order to protect nervous gamers making the trip to Seattle, according to sources involved in the convention. Hopefully it won’t be necessary.