ABC has told its affiliates that ESPN2 has postponed its planned Sunday airing of an esports tournament involving the video game Apex Legends in the wake of the recent mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio.
The program, EXP Invitational Apex Legends at X Games, was set to air Sunday on cable outlet. In a memo to affiliates, ABC said the move was “out of respect for the victims and all those impacted by the recent shootings.”
A source tells Deadline that the show has been rescheduled for October..
The hourlong show was a highlight package compiled from last week’s EXP Invitational tournament at X Games Minneapolis. It was livestreamed on ESPN’s esports portal among other sites.
The Respawn Entertainment video game is an open-world, battle-royal shooting game similar in setup to other violent games like Fortnight. It’s described as “a bloodsport where Legends from all corners of the Frontier compete for money, fame, and glory” and is rated “T” for blood and violence.
The move comes the same week as Universal hit pause on its marketing for The Hunt, a Universal Pictures satire thriller that follows 12 red-state strangers who wake up in a clearing and realize they’re being hunted by liberals. ESPN earlier had pulled an ad for the movie in the wake of the mass shootings that killed 34 people in Gilroy, CA, El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.
Universal also said it was holding off “out of sensitivity to the attention on the country’s recent shooting tragedies.”