Electronic Arts announced on Monday that it was canceling the final three qualifying events for the Madden Classic esports tournament, though officials said that competitive play would be continuing at some point.
The cancellations come in the wake of the mass shooting at a Madden tournament in Jacksonville, in which competitors Eli Clayton and Taylor Robertson were killed.
Three Qualifiers Called Off, No Word on Rescheduling
The announcement was made by EA CEO Andrew Wilson via a statement that was released on EA�s website.
�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,� Wilson wrote. �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 events that were cancelled were scheduled to take place in Virginia, California, and Texas over the next month, before the Madden Classic itself, which was scheduled for Las Vegas in October. It has not yet been announced if those qualifiers or the final tournament will be rescheduled.
That statement was followed on Wednesday by a message from Matt Marcou, the commissioner of Madden�s competitive gaming division. Marcou reflected on the loss of the victims � better known by their handles �TrueBoy� and �SpotMe� in the Madden community � and noted that EA was willing to help recoup funds for competitors who had already made travel arrangements to go to a future Madden Classic qualifier.
Marcou then reflected on what the future might hold for the Madden competitive community.
�The following is certain: the Madden NFL Championship Series will return,� he wrote. �We love this game and this community. We are confident we will return stronger as we move forward in building competitive Madden together.�
EA Plans Tribute for Victims of Shooting
On Thursday, EA continued its response to the shootings, announcing that they would be donating $1 million towards what they called the Jacksonville Tribute. The money will go to the families of Robertson, Clayton, and others who were affected by the shooting. EA said it was also working on setting up a fund where others could contribute in conjunction with the company�s donation.
In addition, the video game publisher announced a Jacksonville Tribute Livestream, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6.
�We�ve heard from so many of you that you would like to support the victims, and to show that this horrific event will not define us, but only serve to make our community stronger,� EA said in a statement. �We�re already working with many of you to help make this happen through the livestream.�
In total, three people � including accused gunman David Katz, who was also a competitor in the tournament � died during the shooting, while another 11 were injured. As of yet, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams has not commented on a potential motive in the shooting.