Just Stop Oil protestors interrupt Tekken esports event on stage at EGX 2023, arrested for criminal damage

Just Stop Oil protestors on the Tekken esports stage at EGX 2023

Just Stop Oil protestors have been known for blocking roads, vandalising art galleries and interrupting sporting events – now they’re targeting esports tournaments.

Three protestors walked casually onto the stage midway through the Tekken 7 esports event at EGX 2023 at Excel London today, before spraying orange paint onto the stage area and monitors using adapted water pistols.

One of them then addressed the audience, before being met with boos.

He said: “We are Just Stop Oil, and we are demanding that the UK Government immediately cease all new licensing of coal, oil and gas. The UK Government is playing with our lives.”

The protestors – previously cosplaying as Ghostbusters characters at EGX – were then removed from the stage and eventually arrested by the Met Police for criminal damage. Two of them were named on the Just Stop Oil website as Idris, a 20 year old artist from London, and Luke Watson, a 32-year-old handyman from Essex.

The tournament continued. It was eventually won by Falcons’ British-born Pakistani player JoKa, who beat UK player Ayorichie in the final.

This all happened on the final day of EGX 2023, during Bandai Namco’s £5,000 official Tekken 7 Major, which ran from around midday until the early evening. It occurred during the match between JoKa and Kaneandtrench.

EGX 2023 featured other esports tournaments which were announced last month. The event ran from October 12th to 15th overall.

It’s not the first time a UK esports event has been interrupted by someone. Back in 2016, a streaker interrupted the UK Hearthstone finals at MCM London Comic Con.

Esports community condemns protestors as Just Stop Oil urges gamers to join London march

The esports community was quick to call out Just Stop Oil for targeting an esports and gaming event.

Tekken caster Spag described the protestors as ‘morons’, and said that player Kaneandtrench just ignored them and carreid on playing.

Kaneandtrench said it was a ‘mad occurrence’ and ‘I just want to play man lol’.

Just Stop Oil said in a post: ‘This isn’t a game. Just Stop Oil disrupt UK’s biggest gaming convention’.

They also urged gamers to march with them in London this November. And called out Barclays, an EGX sponsor, for financing around $167bn in fossil fuels, as well as Shell, for promoting fossil fuels via Fortnite.

A Just stop Oil spokesperson said: “Video games let us escape into new and exciting dimensions, but real world physics are about to deliver the deaths of billions. Put more carbon into the atmosphere at this point and it’s game over.

“Gamers co-operate to win, and we need these skills to survive. Everyone must step up and join in civil resistance against new oil and gas, because this isn’t a game. Let’s unite to make this world safe, so that we can get back to exploring cyber worlds. Join Just Stop Oil on a slow march through London from October 29th.”

Underneath this post, Jeff Simpkins, CEO of Resolve, said: “Attack an event where the majority of people in attendance are young, likely more liberal and more conscientious about the climate and the need to make change… complete waste of paint and time. Morons.”

Esports host Frankie Ward added: “This ain’t it chief. Most esports players don’t make money and they train so hard for this moment. I’m with your cause, but if you want to recruit young people, don’t interrupt an FGC tournament. It’s hurting individuals, not a corporation.”

Caster Pansy said: “Lol yeah man, got those tory loving oil guzzling… gamers.”

Just Stop Oil was also involved in this bizarre exchange about ‘IRL Tekken in Tescos’.

FGC player Super Akouma asked people to stop retweeting the Just Stop Oil post as ‘that’s what they want’.

Esports News UK has contacted an EGX spokesperson for comment and will update this article if we hear back.

Hurricane wins Street Fighter 6 tournament at EGX 2023

Elsewhere today, Hurricane, a UK-based Cammy player from Cameroon, emerged victorious at the Almost Pro £5,000 Street Fighter 6 Open.

He beat Rainpro, a Guile main from Hong Kong who is currently based in the UK.

Hurricane took home £3,000 and the championship belt as the overall winner.

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