Gamers and Video Game Makers Pay Tribute to Jacksonville Victims, While Calling for Increased Security
The video game world was in shock Monday following the shooting death of two people and wounding of nine others at a qualifying tournament for the Madden video game Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. But as gaming community mourned the tragedy, it also pulled together.
While the Jacksonville sheriff’s office has not officially identified the two people who were killed, organizations familiar with them have named them on social media and paid tribute. Taylor “SpotMePlzzz” Robertson and Eli “True” Clayton—whose identity was confirmed by his former high school—were honored by Dot City Gaming, the team on which Robertson played.
“They were great competitors and well-loved members of the Madden community,” Dot City tweeted.
Peter Moore, CEO of the Liverpool soccer team and the former chief competition officer at EA, where he organized the company’s competitive gaming division, wrote “my heart goes out to my former colleagues that were on site, the competitive players that I got to know, and all of their families. It’s a video game for God’s sake…”
Leaders in the esports world called on organizers to increase security at the events, which have become increasingly popular for the past several years.
“Sad day and a WAKE UP CALL for organizers large and small,” tweeted Jason Lake, CEO of the esports team compLexity Gaming. “It’s time esports events (large and small) double down on security for everyone in general and players specifically.”
Other high profile gamers, game companies, and game industry insiders expressed their shock and anger as well.
Police identified the shooter as 24-year-old David Katz, and gamers said he had won Madden tournaments in the past. Authorities have not announced a motive for the crime.