Carrollton’s Java Gaming Café was among the last three cities to host an Electronic Arts Sports-sanctioned Madden NFL 19 Classic Satellite: Dallas Open qualifier tournament on Sept. 22-23.
However, EA announced they have canceled the remaining tournaments due to the events of a gunman, who opened fire at a Madden Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, killing two and injuring several others.
“In the wake of the tragic event this past Sunday, EA has cancelled the rest of the Madden 19 Classic tournaments,” Java Café Gaming wrote on Facebook. “Java's thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families. This is a very sad time for all of esports. This event will make us stronger and closer. Please respect your fellow Gamer as we are all one.”
David Katz, 24, of Baltimore opened fire in GLHF Game Bar at The Jacksonville Landing complex during the tournament. Players Taylor Robertson and Eli Clayton were killed by Katz and others were injured, including Dallas esports player Drini Gjoka of the CompLexity Gaming team. Katz, also a player, turned the handgun on himself and took his own life.
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In the aftermath of the shooting, Andrew Wilson CEO of Electronic Arts said in a statement that they had a made a decision to cancel the remaining Madden Classic qualifiers.
“The event was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, our first Madden EA Major competition of this season,” Wison says in a statement. “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.”
The top two qualifiers of the Dallas tournament would have earned a final-16 spot to compete in October’s Madden Classics in Las Vegas.
“Java is saddened by the tragic event that happen[ed] this past Sunday," Jave Café Gaming wrote on Facebook. "Our thoughts and Prayers are with the victims and their families. The Madden 19 Classic tournament is not important at this time. There are people that have lost their lives and families that have lost their son/brother. The esports community is grieving, but we will become closer and stronger because of this event. Please keep all the victims and their families in your prayers as they are in ours.”