EA Sports cancels remaining 'Madden' qualifiers in wake of deadly Jacksonville shooting

Yahoo Sports
EA Sports has canceled upcoming “Madden”events after two gamers were murdered at a Jacksonville mall during a competition. (AP)
EA Sports has canceled upcoming “Madden”events after two gamers were murdered at a Jacksonville mall during a competition. (AP)

EA Sports has canceled upcoming “Madden” qualifiers in wake of Sunday’s mass shooting tragedy that left two gamers dead and 11 others injured when a man opened fire during a video game tournament.

Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton were identified as the “Madden” players killed during the attack.

EA Sports CEO addresses gaming community after Jacksonville

EA Sports CEO Andrew Wilson acknowledged the victims Monday in a statement announcing that the three remaining qualifying events for the “Madden Classic” would be canceled.

Here is Wilson’s statement, in full:

To Our Players and the Gaming Community,

I wanted to share some thoughts about the horrific and senseless act of violence that occurred in Jacksonville at the Madden competitive gaming event.  I know many of us, myself included, are filled with shock and grief.  Our teams have been working non-stop to do what we can to respond to this terrible situation.

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.

Andrew Wilson
CEO, Electronic Arts

The three previously scheduled qualifiers were slated to take place in Dulles, Virginia, Santa Ana, California and Carrollton, Texas in September with the main event planned for Las Vegas in October. Wilson did not clarify if the events would be rescheduled.

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