The Esports industry was shaken as news broke that there had been a mass shooting at a gaming tournament in Florida on Sunday, August 26th.
The gunman, a professional Madden player, brought a handgun to a tournament being held at GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida. The 24-year-old killed two people, and injured 10 more, before committing suicide.
As a partner entrusted to bring security, safety and logistical oversight to Esports events, we offer our sincere condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.
It’s not just Esports security, all events need to take this seriously
The reality is that mass gatherings of all sizes, and across all verticals, are vulnerable to attacks like that at Jacksonville. Whether it is the threat of a lone gunman, or the looming fear of terrorism, event organizers must take all potential security threats seriously, and keep the safety and well-being of the fans, talent and staff as their highest priority.
After last year’s shooting in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest festival and the bombing at Ariana Grande’s show in Manchester, UK, there has been increased pressure from the artists to evolve the security standards of the live event industry.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that major touring musicians are starting to take out terrorism insurance, and in the wake of this shooting, prominent figures in the Esports industry are speaking out about the need to improve standards.
Gamers demand better Esports security
CoD champion and XGames gold medalist Seth “Scump” Abner is one of the star athletes that shared his feelings on Twitter after the tragedy.
“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.”
Joey Cuellar, the tournament director for the Evolution Championship Series, also wrote,
“It’s very clear that we need to be more proactive for 2019 and beyond.”
Cuellar’s words were echoed by pro Smash player Dark NAKAT.
“I’ve been saying for a longggg time now that eSports events should have mandatory security checks. Now a shooting breaks out at a Madden event. I feel so bad for the victims and those who were at the location of the shooting. Disgusting things like this should never happen.”
The Esports sector is the fastest growing sport in the world, charting massive year-on-year growth that shows no signs of slowing in the next decade. But with this rapid growth comes increased logistical challenges and greater responsibility to the fans, talent and staff that power the industry.
Much like comic and fan conventions have been forced to tackle problems relating to the culture of prop weaponry being brought to the events, Esports event organizers will now need to respond to the reality that increased security and screening measures are essential to their operation.
The good news is that challenges like these have been faced by conventional sporting events, music festivals and fan conventions before. Problems relating to the smuggling of contraband, fraudulent tickets, and porous event borders have been identified time and time again by all kinds of events, and the risk these pose can be mitigated with the right attitude, advice and technology.
Proper event Access Control has these main benefits
- Allows security to do what they’re best at, observing people for suspicious behavior and preventing dangerous goods from being brought in
- Flag suspicious behavior and allow you to proactively confront potential security issues
- Control unlimited zones in a single system (GA, VIP, Toll Booths, Production, and more)
- A fail-safe system proven to work in all climates and environments
It is important that the Esports event organizers recognize just how pressing this issue is, and that this tragedy can be a much-needed agent of change for an industry entering a period of intense growth and continued disruption.