Gunshots, screaming, silence, and death.
These four gut-wrenching words are the sum of the events that took place on August 27 in Jacksonville, Florida.
A man who was angry after losing in a Madden 19 tournament earlier that day committed a shooting at the same tournament. Two professional players lost their lives in the incident and 10 more were injured.
This article is not about the man who committed this horrible crime (and I will not mention his name either) nor the gun control debate that rages in this country to this day.
Instead, this calls upon the security procedures at these events because they need to be upped drastically.
Pro players took this time to not only mourn the loss of two members of their community but to call for increased security at esports events.
I have been to plenty of large esports events around the United States, from small local tournaments to the League of Legends World Championships and ESL One New York. While the larger events had decent security, many smaller venues that are held in hotels and resorts often have sub-par levels of security.
Multiple players, including OpTic Gaming's Seth "Scump" Abner voiced his thoughts on the tragedy and how this was the wakeup call the industry needed to up security at events.
"I've been saying events NEED better security. Such a damn shame that now event coordinators will respond after a tragedy happens. Thoughts are with everyone at the Madden tournament and their families," Abner tweeted on August 27.
Abner, a professional "Call of Duty" player is no stranger to threats during events, as the CWL Dallas Open in 2017 was evacuated due to bomb threats while he was there competing with OpTic Gaming.
Many of the smaller esports markets such as "Call of Duty," "Gears of War," or "Madden NFL" have not had large resources put into venue security, and larger companies such as Riot Games did not install metal detectors outside of the LCS Studio until after Christina Grimmie was shot and killed in 2016 during an autograph signing.
Basically, the point at hand is that esports tournaments are becoming larger and larger, and unfortunately, that results in becoming targets for an attack. It is a shame that it took a tragedy to fix an issue which has been talked about already by players and fans in the scene.