Nicolas Jozefczyk | Staff Writer
Another act of violence occurred in Florida on Aug. 26 at a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament. The tragedy left two fatally shot victims and 11 others injured before the gunman killed himself, according to Sheriff Mike Williams, reported by CNN.
Held at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida, the contest served as weeding-out matches to determine winners that would move on to a tournament in Las Vegas in October. David Katz, who played in the event and lost earlier in the day, according to CNN, would decide to harm other players.
Armed with both a .45 caliber and 9mm, along with extra ammo, Katz only used one firearm in the shooting that was outfitted with a laser sight. Police are still investigating his motive behind this act, but it should be noted that Katz had been hospitalized in psychiatric facilities twice and was prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. Both weapons in his possession were purchased legally in Baltimore, Maryland by himself over the past month, officials said.
Taylor Robertson and Eli Clayton died in the shooting. Both players were known in the Madden community.
Robertson went by the name “SpotmePlzzz.” According to his EA Sports profile, Robertson has not won an EA Major in quite some time, “but his potent offensive talent paired with his skill on defense makes him one of the toughest opponents in competitive ‘Madden.’” He won a total of $80,500 and his win percentage is 72 percent. Robertson recently joined the esports team DotCityGaming. He was also married and had a child.
Clayton, the second victim of the shooting, had the screen name “TrueBoy.” At only 22-years-old, Clayton was a former Calabasas Football player, continuing his love for football in a digital space. Being a pro-player since Madden NFL 17, he accumulated $51,000 in total prize winnings. Clayton over the past two MCS campaigns became the sixth-highest money earner in competitive Madden according to his EA Sports profile.
Following in the tragedy’s wake, many people tweeted disappointment centered around gun violence being a repeated problem in America. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords wrote about the shooting, calling it “another devastating indictment of this country’s inability to keep our kids safe.”
Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, the developer of the Madden series, posted a message regarding the events in Jacksonville. In the statement, he eulogizes both Robertson and Clayton, noting that they both lost their lives in a tragedy. Further into the notice, Wilson explains that the three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events are canceled in order to “run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators.”