Eli Clayton, known as “Trueboy,” has been identified by friends and the LA Times as one of the victims of the horrific shooting at the Madden video game tournament. He was competing at the Madden NFL 19 Classic Satellite Qualifier, and fans were desperately worried about him after he was seen on a livestream video but wasn’t heard from after the shooting that left three people dead and 10 or more injured. Sadly, although police have not released an official list of the victims of the shooting, friends who know Clayton have said on social media that he was one of the targets of the shooter.
Eli Clayton ‘Trueboy’ Was Competing in the Tournament, But Almost Had Not Attended
Clayton, 21, tweeted on August 25 the day before the mass shooting that he had won every game by max and was waiting for the singles on August 26.
On August 24 he tweeted that he had two days left to go and only had two hours of sleep.
Clayton had originally planned not to attend the Jacksonville event, but changed his mind about a week ago.
The Madden NFL 19 Classic Satellite Qualifier where the mass shooting took place was the first in a series of Madden NFL qualifier events, EASports reported. The event was at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville. The top finishers would then be able to play in the Round of 16 at the Madden Classic event in Las Vegas in October. Competitors who make it to the Live Finals would play for a share of the $165,000 prize pool.
Fans Were Terrified When They Thought a Livestream Showed a Laser Scope on Clayton, & Were Heartbroken When They Did Not Hear Anything from Him After the Shooting
Some fans said that he was on the Twitch live stream and appeared to have a red laser scope on him right before the shooting happened. However, authorities have not confirmed if this information is accurate.
Even before police identified the shooting, friends who were at the event had identified Trueboy as one of the victims.
The Suspect in the Shooting Was a Disgruntled Gamer Who Had Lost the Tournament Earlier in the Day
The suspect in the shooting, David Katz, had participated in the Madden tournament himself, Fox News reported. He had used the names Bread, mrslicedbread, ravenschamp, and ravens2012 champ in the Madden competitions. Witnesses said that he got mad because he lost, got his gun out of his car, and started shooting, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A competitor in the game, Steven “Steveyj” Javaruski said the shooter was a player who lost, and then shot other people in the tournament including himself, the Los Angeles Times reported. Javaruski said he saw the suspect target specific people.
Others said that the shooter was particularly angry at Trueboy, although authorities have not yet confirmed this account.
Clayton Loved Competing in Madden & Was in the National Finals Last Year
Clayton took the Jaguars to the national finals last year in Madden, The Florida Times-Union reported. In April 2017, he was one of eight finalists in the Madden 17 Club Series finals in Los Angeles. He won $3,500.
Clayton lived in Los Angeles and had become a celebrity in the gaming world. He has more than 5,000 followers on Twitter.
He told the Florida Times-Union in an interview last year: “It felt like a real NFL game, even though it really wasn’t. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
You can read Clayton’s Competitive Madden profile and stats here. According to his bio: “True is consistently one of the best in competitive Madden. He’s a frequent face in EA Majors, but has been the victim of some early exits. … Despite a rough season, True remains one of the best around and can potentially win it all when it’s done.”
EASports describes Clayton as “one of the best Madden Ultimate League competitors at open-field running thanks to his evasive stick-work.” He had the No. 3 overall defense in the regular season this year and he’s known as the “Hold the Door Specialist.”
Clayton Played Madden Games Since He Was Five, But Was Just Started Playing Competitively Two Years Ago
Clayton had been playing Madden games since he was 5 years old, but only began playing competitively around 2016, The Florida Times-Union reported.
Clayton often posted about his gaming experience, offering tips to others and updates.
He Was Close to His Family & Posted About Them on Social Media, & Also Was Quick to Congratulate People Who Beat Him in Gaming
Clayton was born in 1996 and he’s from Woodland Hills, California, according to his Competitive Madden profile. He was close to his family and posted proudly in June about his little brother’s graduation.
When it came to gaming, he was humble enough to congratulate others when they beat him.
EA Sports also noted that Clayton was a humble player. He told EA Sports in April:
People [at school] I’ve never met will ask me to play a game. I’ve been getting recognized more often this year. It’s pretty cool, I guess… I’m really easy to get along with, I’m not a trouble maker. I’m always laughing and joking around. I’m just me, a cool dude. There’s really nowhere to go but up, honestly.
Friends Have Posted Heartbreaking Goodbyes to Clayton on Social Media
Trueboy’s loss is resonating throughout the gaming community, and friends and fans are posting heartfelt goodbyes.
A GoFundMe has been started for the families of the two victims:
He Had a Positive, Upbeat Social Media Presence that Included Sharing His Favorite Foods & Meals on Twitter
As a bit of a foodie, Clayton also liked to share posts about his current favorite foods.
Eli Clayton shared positive posts on Twitter and appeared genuinely upbeat, happy, and helpful to people who reach out to him. His death is a terrible loss not just to his friends and family, but to all the people whose lives he may have touched in the years to come.