CNN is reporting that at least 11 people were shot at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday. The group was participating in a videogame tournament for the new Madden 19 game. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that at least four people are dead.
EA Sports was quick to respond to the news on their official Twitter account, first stating as the terrible news was breaking, “We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville. We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage.”
Once the worst had been confirmed, they added, “This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved.”
Everyone here at GiN would like to also express their sympathy for everyone involved in this tragic event. This was by all accounts a relatively small tournament, a regional qualifier for a game that has a huge following, but which is just recently starting to become big in the eSports arena. It’s very likely that the people participating in the tournament were new to eSports, dreaming about one day becoming an eSports superstar with their game of choice, a dream that many of us share.
GiN didn’t have anyone covering the event, and didn’t know anyone who was participating, but they were videogamers, just like us. For such a terrible event to happen while people were just trying to enjoy their favorite pastime really hits home for many of us. We hope that the injured are successfully treated and heal quickly. As for those who were killed, no words can adequately ease the pain of loss that their loved ones will soon be experiencing. Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing that they died while following their dreams, and doing something they must have loved.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this, adequately described by EA Games, horrible situation.