The folks at Respawn have partnered up with ESPN in anticipation for the big Apex Legends pre-season event. This event is set to take place later next month. However, prior to the main event, a big Apex Legends Tournament at the X Games was set to have its highlight run on ESPN 2. The tournament itself is already over, and ESPN 2 was going to air the highlights on August 11, but has now delayed its air date until October due to recent mass shootings.
In an email acquired by Rod Breslau, an ESPN representative states, “Out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by recent shootings, ABC [parent company of ESPN] will no longer air ‘EXP Invitational Apex Legends at X Games.'” The email then goes on to state that they will air an episode of E:60 in its place. However, the Apex Legends Tournament itself has already aired on streaming services, including ESPN.
GameRevolution reached out to ESPN for a comment and an ESPN PR spokesperson stated: “The decision was made out of respect for the victims and all those impacted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings and it seemed the prudent thing to do given the swirl of that moment.” The company also shared that the airing has been rescheduled for October 6, 15, and 27 on ESPN 2.
This decision from ESPN surrounding the Apex Legends Tournament comes just a few days after two tragic mass shootings took place in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Following the shootings, President Donald Trump stated that “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.” There has been an ongoing debate over the past few months surrounding the correlation between video games and mass shootings, with the President’s comments putting the debate back in the spotlight.
No matter what side of the debate you land on, we can all agree that putting a pause on the showcasing of a violent game during a time of mourning is a good move by ESPN.