German television network ProSieben MAXX has pulled its weekend coverage of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports league ELeague following the recent mass shooting in Munich, according to German CS: GO site 99Damage.
In the wake of the attack, several news sources including CNN, the New York Times and USA Today reported that the 18-year-old gunman was an avid player of first-person shooters, specifically Counter-Strike: Source.
Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state crime office, referred to Counter-Strike as "a game played by nearly every known rampage killer." Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière also stated "We cannot ignore [. . .] that the glorifying of violence in internet games has a damaging effect on the development of young people."
The coverage would have shown the ELeague championship’s semifinals and finals, which will feature German team mousesports in addition to teams from Sweden, Ukraine and Poland.
The German broadcasts of ELeague events were promoted by gaming marketing agency Freaks 4U, whose CEO Matthais Remmert released a statement on 99Damage, translated by ESPN:
Today, ELeague's show has been canceled and the TV channel won't show its last episode. I think it's sad that such an event takes away the chance to show every non-esports fan how awesome this sport can be. It was a beautiful journey to represent the german esports scene in TV and am thankful to every single viewer, especially those who worked closely with us to give feedback.
In the U.S., the semifinal match between Germany’s mousesports and Polish team Virtus.pro, as well as the final match, will be shown by TBS, whose parent company Turner Broadcasting produces the league. The championships will also stream on Twitch via ELeague TV and 99Damage, and will be the first esports event to be broadcast on Twitter.