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Electronic Arts has canceled three Madden Classic qualifier events following Sunday’s shooting at the Madden NFL 19 live-stream tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting resulted in two deaths and 10 injuries.
“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,” Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson wrote Monday in a statement. “We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events.”
The Jacksonville event also was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, Wilson said.
In his statement, Wilson added that the two deceased victims from the shooting, Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton, were “two of our top Madden competitors.”
“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,” Wilson wrote.
The primary suspect in the shooting is 24-year-old David Katz of Baltimore, Maryland, who is believed to have killed Robertson and Clayton before taking his own life.
The Jacksonville event, held at the GLHF Game Bar, was live-streamed on the establishment’s Twitch channel until it was evident that players were hearing gunfire, at which point the video cut off. Twitch has since taken the video down.
“We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Jacksonville today. Twitch and all its staff send our deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones, and everyone in our community who’s grieving today,” Twitch said Sunday in a statement.
EA issued its own statement in the hours following the event, calling the shooting a “senseless act of violence.” “Our focus right now is on those affected and supporting law enforcement as they continue their investigation into this crime,” it concluded.
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