A terrible event occurred on August 26th in Jacksonville, Florida at a Madden NFL event. A gunman shot 11 people killing 2 during a competitive Madden NFL 19 event. After the shooter realized he could not escape he took the gun to himself.
CEO Andrew Wilson of Electronic Arts released a statement of shock today based on the shooting.
“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.”
The event was being streamed live on Twitch. Thankfully the camera didn’t show the shootings take place but the audio is horrifying. Out of respect to the victims families, Twitch has made a statement while being interviewed by Polygon that anyone who is sharing footage of the shooting will be in violation of community guidelines and the clip will be removed. YouTube has also stated that the showing this clip is against their community guidelines towards violence and graphic footage.
In response to the shooting, PAX and ReedPOP has issued new safety protocols to their upcoming events issuing the following statement:
“The safety of our attendees, exhibitors, and staff is paramount to ReedPOP and Penny Arcade,” reads the statement. “As PAX has grown in popularity, we have responded with the addition of increased private security, law enforcement, and other personnel, each of whom are on-site at all times during our events.”
To ensure the effectiveness of its security protocols, the PAX team doesn’t make the details publicly available. However, the statement explains that the team works “closely with the Washington State Convention Center, private security, the Seattle Police Department and federal law enforcement authorities to identify risks, assess them, and develop our comprehensive security protocols for PAX West. We have in place extensive proactive measures; some that are visible during PAX events and many that are not.”
Additionally, the event organizers said they “constantly” work towards improving security plans and make adjustments as necessary to ensure “a safe and secure environment for the community.”
PAX West is set to start from August 31st thru September 3rd at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center.
Our hearts go out to the families of Taylor Robinson, Elijah Clayton, as well as the other 11 injured victims. For more, make sure you keep it locked to Mammoth Gamers.