Rod "Slasher" Breslau posted a Tweet from an ABC source showing an email stating that the event will not air on Sunday 'out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent shootings.' The US has seen 248 mass shootings in the 220 days of 2019 at the time of writing.
The EXP Invitational event took place last weekend at X Games in Minneapolis, with TSM winning $30,000. There was a bonus award called 'Apex Predator' awarded to Team Reciprocity's Eric "Snip3down" Wrona for getting the most eliminations. Stream recaps of the whole tournament, clips and interviews can still be found on ESPN's YouTube channel and remain public.
The pull only refers to the TV broadcast set for ABC, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS this weekend. New plans suggest the content will be aired sometime in October. ESPN has also pulled adverts for the film 'The Hunt', according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, following the shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
There has been considerable backlash to these accusations. #VideogamesAreNotToBlame trended on Twitter with many posting their stories about the positive impact of gaming on their lives and evidence to show no observed link between violence and video game consumption.
For Apex Legends, the delayed exposure comes as Cloud9 have dropped their team and the $500,000 Preseason Invitational set to start next month with 90 teams in attendance, with only a handful of big organisations confirmed to be in Krakow.
While the game gained 50 million users in the first month, hype has dropped and the game has retained less than a tenth of the amount of Twitch viewers it had when big streamers were paid to play the game at launch on average.