DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The deadly shooting at an eSports event in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday left many in the gaming community distraught. Paradigm, the new video gaming facility in downtown Davenport, hosts eSports tournaments every Saturday.
The director of Paradigm, Chase Neukam, said that it's even more sad that this has to happen to get people's attention. "This topic of discussion behind safety at eSports events has been around for a few years now," he said. "Unfortunately the community has been aware that it would probably take something like this for things to change. As gut-wrenching as the events of yesterday were I would like to see that change reflected within the industry."
Neukam was very clear that the eSports community is tight-knit and considered a family. He wants the world to know that one person does not define what that community strives to stand for.
"That is not eSports. Let me make it very clear, that is not eSports. Just like you would see in the MLB, a player rushes the field with a gun? That's not baseball," he said. "That guy is an outlier in the industry right now. The community knows what the industry is about."
The eSports world is growing everyday, and events and tournaments are growing with it. Unfortunately, the program is so new it doesn't get the same type of revenue to be able to afford as high security as sports that have been around for much longer. "This is something the industry needs to remember," said Neukam. "As eSports gets larger, so will our communities and so will our outreach."
Paradigm staff is meeting later this week to discuss safety protocols for their facility moving forward.
"I can proudly say that Paradigm, myself, my colleagues, everyone who is in Paradigm, our hearts reach out to those in Jacksonville. We will be doing everything we can this week to have a discussion to prepare for anything like that that may happen."