August 26, 2018 9:46 pm
Updated: August 26, 2018 11:45 pm

Jacksonville shooting leaves eSports community in shock

WATCH: Gamer says Jacksonville Madden 19 tournament brings in people from all over

A A

Top figures from the professional U.S. online gaming community expressed shock and dismay on Sunday after a shooting at a tournament in Florida left three people dead.

Story continues below

The rampage took place at the GLHF Game Bar in downtown Jacksonville, which was livestreaming a regional qualifier for a new football video game, Madden NFL 19.

Police named the shooter as 24-year-old David Katz from Baltimore, Maryland, and said he was in Jacksonville for the competition. They said he killed two people before taking his own life, but declined to comment on his motive.

READ MORE: Gunman kills 2, fatally shoots himself at video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fl.

WATCH: Jacksonville shooting victim describes chaotic scene 

The killings rocked the world of professional electronic gaming, also known as esports, which boasts an estimated 250 million players worldwide in a growing market worth about a billion dollars a year.

“My heart goes out to the family, friends and people affected by the madden shooting today,” one video platform streamer and Internet personality, Ninja, wrote on Twitter. “Evil times we live in, just need to out shine that evil with positivity.”

WATCH: Full coverage of the Jacksonville, Fl. shooting

Another high profile gamer, @ProblemWright, one of the top names in Madden competitions according to its maker, Electronic Arts Inc, said he was crying and “in so much pain.”

WATCH: ‘He was weird all weekend’: Madden competitor says he beat suspected shooter in match 

Cloud9, a professional gaming organization based in Los Angeles, California, said it was deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic events: “Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to the victims, families, and all those affected by today’s violence,” the organization said on Twitter. “Stay safe.”

READ MORE: This is why eSports could become more popular than hockey

The victims have not yet been officially named, but another professional Madden player, @ThePrxdigyy, tweeted photos of two gamers who were reported on social media to have been killed.

“RIP to two of our brothers and speedy recovery for the others injured,” he wrote. “Love you all and hope something like this never happens again.”

WATCH: Witness heard suspect was ‘regular gamer’ in Jacksonville, FL mass shooting

Marquis Williams said he traveled from Chicago with his girlfriend to attend the competition.

“I just can’t wrap my head around the fact we were here traveling just to play video games, something that we love to do, and it’s just sad that lives were lost because of it,” Williams told reporters at the scene.

© 2018 Reuters

Report an error

Comments

Comments closed.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Please see our Commenting Policy for more.