The Madden NFL 19 Classic, which had been postponed from its original October dates in light of the shooting at a qualifying tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, will take place tomorrow and the next two days, EA Sports announced today.
Competition will begin at 1 p.m. ET all three days and run to 9 p.m. The Madden Classic Finals are scheduled for for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Madden NFL 19 Classic is being held in Las Vegas and will be streamed on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Mixer.
Three qualifying events for the Classic, which is the first major tournament on EA Sports’ official competition schedule for Madden NFL, were canceled outright after the Aug. 26 shooting at Jacksonville Landing, which killed two Madden competitors, Elijah Clayton and Taylor Robertson. Electronic Arts chief executive Andrew Wilson said at the time that the company would re-evaluate its safety protocols at live events following the attack, which was carried out by another Madden competitor.
Electronic Arts later made a $1 million donation to the victims’ families and held a livestream tribute event, through which additional money was raised to support those hurt in the incident. A news release today said that a tribute to the players in Jacksonville and the first responders who came to the scene will air at the beginning of the Madden NFL 19 Classic and throughout the event.
Registration was reopened in October; the event is closed to the public. “As we resume competitive Madden tournaments, safety and security is our number one priority,” EA said on the event’s official page. “We will have measures to ensure all players and personnel are as safe as possible at the Madden Classic. This is our commitment, for today and the future.”
The Madden NFL Classic draws from more than 500 competitors from across the nation, offering a $165,000 prize pool for this portion of the competitive series. Three other major tournaments, the Club Championship (Jan. 30 to Feb. 2), the Challenge (March 15-17) and the Madden Bowl (the week of the NFL Draft) will follow. Their dates were announced before the August shooting.