On Sunday, Aug. 26th a deadly shooting took place in Jacksonville, FL. during a tournament for the video game “Madden NFL 19,” which was hosted at the GLHF Game Bar. The shooting took three lives, the shooter being one of them. 11 other victims were also injured, but their wounds were not deadly.
According to local authorities, the suspect is David Katz, a 24-year-old from Baltimore who was competing in Sunday’s tournament. The suspect used a single firearm, which he used to inflict a deadly gunshot to himself after shooting 13 others. Witnesses have claimed that Katz was a competitor who had lost, and that the shooting occurred after an argument took place over the tournament.
Among the victims that had been shot and killed were Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson and Eli “True” Clayton, regular competitors for Electronic Art’s Madden game series. Robertson, from Ballard, West Virginia, was 27 years old and had a successful eSports career, having won $80,000 over the course of it, as well as being the champion for the Madden NFL 17 Classic. Clayton was a high school football player from Woodland Hills, California, and was only 22 years old, finding enjoyment in playing the virtual version of his favorite game. He was also said to be one of the best players in competitive Madden on a consistent basis, according to EA Sports’ website.
Like many video game tournaments, the event on Sunday was streamed online for others to watch. Because of this, events that occurred prior to and during the shooting were captured in clips of the stream. One such clip appeared to show a red dot, presumed to be a laser, on one of the players. Another clip seemed to show sounds that may have been gunfire, being heard before the stream was promptly shut down.
In reaction to this senseless act, the video game community has come together in solidarity to mourn those who were lost. Twitch, a video game streaming service, took to their official Twitter account and wrote “We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Jacksonville today.” Popular Madden player and Twitch streamer Eric “Problem” Wright also took to social media to voice his feelings on the event, writing “Crying and in so much pain. Prayers to the families of Trueboy and Spotme.” Wright expressed disappointment in the circumstances, going on to write “All over a videogame. Two of our brothers are gone man and its so disturbing. One of the most tragic days ive ever experienced. This community is like family. Broken”. EA Sports, the creators of Madden 19, tweeted saying “This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been started in the name of helping those affected by the shooting as well, with fundraiser creator Samantha McGlaughn stating “This act of violence was done with the purposeful intent on dividing us all. We must be stronger than the adversity this will cause.”
by Jessica Grioua