Local gamers say security will be ‘stepped up’ at future events

News

Despite Jacksonville being more than 2,600 miles away from the Central Valley — the gaming community here is shaken after the shooting that happened at a gaming tournament there. 

Authorities say David Katz, 24, opened fire on several players competing in a Madden 19 tournament Sunday. The shooting was caught on the popular livestreaming platform Twitch.

No motive has been released yet.

“It’s really scary. [When I heard what happened], it really made me reflect about a lot of the events I’ve gone to in the past couple of years,” said competitive gamer Jared Wong. “This is something I never thought would happen.”

Wong has been competing in various gaming tournaments — as well as organizing them — since 2011. His gaming has taken him all over the country. 

He’s shocked about the shooting because the gaming community is so tight.

“The community is more than just sitting there and playing games like some people think it is,” he said. “It’s people I can trust and I know they’re gonna be there for me.”

Rick Gonzalez is an owner of Blue Shell Gaming & Collectibles and the gaming lounge Knockout eSports Arena in Clovis.

He said with their players, management always promotes anti-bullying and respectability.

“We try to keep a place where kids feel safe.  They feel they can go and just kind of have a gateway to play,” Gonzalez said.

Sierra Rudolph helps organize gaming tournaments in the area, helping the scene grow the past couple of years.

She said when news of the shooting broke, she and other tournament organizers immediately started looking at bettering security in the future. 

“we’re kind of like, alright, we’re going to have to step it up. ’cause this is gonna be a large tournament. they can’t take away the passion we have.”

“We’re [all] kind of like, alright, we’re going to have to step it up,” Rudolph said. 

Rudolph, Gonzalez and Wong say Sunday’s events will likely strengthen the gaming community, as opposed to turn-off people from playing. 
You can keep up-to-date with all local gaming tournaments and competitions by following Knockout eSports Arena. You can click here for their social media.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.