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ABC, ESPN Pull Apex Legends EXP Invitational Following Mass Shooting Incidents

August 9, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Apex Legends

The public condemnation of “violent video games” by politicians following mass multiple mass shootings has caused an Apex Legends pro tournament to be pulled from ABC and ESPN. THR has confirmed that the two Disney-owned networks have decided not to air the X Games Apex Legends EXP Invitational that was scheduled to take place this weekend.

This tournament was set to be Apex Legends’ biggest esports event since the game’s launch, and was set to air on Sunday on the networks. Esports reporter Rod Breslau reported that ABC affiliats received an email which said, “Out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the shootings, ABC will no longer air” the tournament. It has been rescheduled to October.

The popular first-person shooter battle royal game released in February and quickly jumped to 50 million players in the first month of release, though that number was believed to have faded some since. The game is rated T for Teen and does not have blood or gore, though it features more realistic graphics than the likes of Overwatch or Fortnite.

Following the mass shootings, President Trump placed part of the blame on video games, saying, “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grizzly video games that are now commonplace.”

The link between violent video games and shootings has been a common citation of politicians, despite the fact that the evidence fails to back that up. The closest it has come is research that suggests a slight rise in aggression can potentially occure, which Russell Shilling, chief scientific officer at the American Psychological Association, says has been misrepresented in the media. He told told CNBC that “aggression” is not violence, and that while over 70% of high school students play violent video games, only 20% of school shooters do. He added that playing games characterized as violent is normal activity for teens, and that school shooters tend not to do what their peers are doing.

The Entertainment Software Association also spoke out against Trump’s claims and said, “More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide. Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S.”

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Apex Legends, Jeremy Thomas