Following the multiple mass shootings that occurred over the August 3 weekend, well-established sports channel ESPN has pulled an upcoming Apex Legends tournament from its time slot. According to an email sent out by ABC, the EXP Invitational Apex Legends at X Games tournament will no longer broadcast on the television network.
Esports journalist Rod Breslau broke the news on Twitter, saying the tournament "that was scheduled for this weekend" has been pulled. The EXP Invinitational Apex Legends at X Games was originally scheduled to air on Sunday, August 11 from 3-4 PM PT / 4-5 PM ET, but will now be replaced by E:60 – Forever Broncos. ABC wrote that the decision was made "out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent shootings." Breslau reported that the tournament will air at a later date and confirmed that it can be viewed on ESPN's esports YouTube channel.
ESPN2 will air the tournament "on three nights in October," according to Bloomberg's unidentified source familiar with the matter. Though no longer airing across its television networks–including ABC and ESPNews–Bloomberg reports that the tournament will still stream this weekend on ESPN's digital channels and the ESPN app.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump said "the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace" are why mass shootings are becoming normalized. Take-Two Interactive's CEO responded, calling the President's comments "disrespectful and irresponsible." The Entertainment Software Association (the organization behind E3) refuted the President's statement, saying "numerous scientific studies have established that there is no causal connection between video games and violence."
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