ESPN postpones X Games Apex tournament broadcast after mass shootings

The decision was made out of respect for the victims of deadly shootings in El Paso and Dayton, according to a note to affiliates.

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People hug at the makeshift memorial for victims of the shooting that left 22 people dead at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Mark Ralston/Getty Images

ESPN and sister network ABC Sports have decided to postpone a planned broadcast this weekend of X Games Apex Legends EXP Invitational in the wake of a pair of deadly mass shootings last weekend. ESPN said in a note to affiliates that the decision was made out of respect for the shooting victims and all those affected by tragedy, according to a note tweeted out by esports figure Rod Breslau.

The last-player-standing, battle royale shooter tournament was held last Friday and Saturday but wasn't scheduled to be broadcast until Sunday on ESPN News. Instead, the Disney-owned network plans to broadcast a rerun of E:60: Forever Broncos, according to the note.

The date on the posted note, Aug. 6, suggests that the network made its programming decision roughly three days after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, claimed 22 lives and injured more than two dozen people. Another shooting a few hours later in Dayton, Ohio, killed nine people and wounded 27 others.

While the tournament won't be broadcast this weekend, esports fans can see the game play on the sports network on a trio of dates on ESPN2 in October. The Apex Legends invitational is now expected to air on Oct. 6, Oct. 15 and Oct. 27, a source familiar with the network's plans told CNET.

In August 2018, EA canceled the remaining qualifying events in its Madden Classic competition after a shooting at a video game tournament that left three dead and injured 11.

Originally published at 4:50 p.m. PT.
Update, 9 p.m.: Adds information about rescheduled broadcast dates.