Parkland shooting survivor and gun legislation reform activist Cameron Kasky will team up with Shay “Young Kiv” Kivlen, a professional gamer and championship winner, whose friends were killed in the Jacksonville shooting in August, to raise money for the families of the victims Monday.
The top Madden gamer and former championship winner was competing in the Madden NFL 19 championship video game tournament on Aug. 26 when the shooting occurred at the GLHF Game Bar, killing two popular gamers, Elijah “TrueBoy” Clayton and Taylor “SpotMeplzzz” Robertson and injuring 11 others, according to CNN. Kivlen will play for the first time since the shooting occurred against Mike Evans, the wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a live-stream fundraiser event. (RELATED: ‘Mass Shooting’ Reported In Jacksonville, Florida)
“The gaming community lost two of their best, most popular people,” Kasky told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday. “From what I’ve seen, the community is uniting to celebrate and remember them. With this livestream, we hope to unite the gaming community and raise money for the families of the victims.”
The Jacksonville Fallen Gamers Fund will raise money to help families pay for medical and bereavement expenses, according to a statement by Michael Wasserman, the co-founder and CEO of Tiltify, a livestream gaming platform that is hosting the fundraising event.
Kivlen, who has been gaming competitively for nearly five years, was competing in the tournament that turned deadly, and had left the event after losing in an overtime match in the first elimination round of the tournament. He was planning on returning to the venue to watch the final games later on in the day, Kivlen told TheDCNF. While at his hotel, he was watching his friend Clayton compete on livestream when he heard shots ring out over the stream.
“The shots just started coming down, like a lot of them really quick,” Kivlen said.
The livestream fundraiser will be the first time Kivlen will be playing Madden and video games since the shooting occurred.
“It’s going to be tough for me to be all like, fun and stuff,” Kivlen, who has yet to unpack his PlayStation gaming console since returning to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, said. “I’m going to try to keep it as fun as I can and try to keep it casual.”
Despite being impacted by gun violence, Kivlen still believes that Americans should be able to legally purchase and maintain guns.
“I’ve had this opinion even before the shooting happened,” Kivlen said. “I’ve always agreed that people should be able to protect themselves and that people should be able to bear arms, but it has to be the right people.”
Kasky, who was at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, when a gunman opened fire in February, believes that stricter gun laws are necessary to prevent mass shootings, but says he will not be focusing on legislative reforms at this event.
“I believe that while passing legislation to prevent more shootings is incredibly important, the focus of this project is helping those affected by this tragedy by coming together as a community and showing love and support,” Kasky told TheDCNF. “I can and will talk about policy that could prevent these shootings, but this specific event is to raise money for the families.”
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