Technoblade, the YouTube personality who attracted millions of fans with his tongue-in-cheek comments on videos of him playing Minecraft, has died, his father revealed in a video posted on his son’s account.
Over 11 million subscribers have a habit of watching Technoblade gameplay footage in Minecraft as he comments behind the scenes. Although he usually focused on what was happening in the game, in some videos he described life events as mundane, such as a trip to the DMV, or as devastating as receiving a cancer diagnosis.
A video titled “So long nerds,” which was posted to Technoblade’s YouTube channel on Thursday and has been viewed more than 26 million times as of Friday afternoon, departed from the channel’s usual aesthetic of colorful pixelated bricks. Instead, a man claiming to be the father of Technoblade appears, sitting in a chair against a stark white background with a small white dog on his lap.
His unnamed father reads a message from his son that begins: “Hello everyone. Technoblade is here. If you’re watching this, then I’m dead.”
The message goes on to reveal Technoblade’s name, Alex, which he did not use online. The video also contains several photos of Alex with loved ones. He rarely showed himself in his YouTube videos, preferring instead to present himself as his avatar: a crowned sword-wielding pig.
“If I had a hundred more lives, I think I would choose to be Technoblade again every time,” Alex’s letter says. “Those were the happiest years of my life.”
His father, who remains emotional throughout the video, says he and his son debated for months whether or not to record the final video. Instead, Alex decided to write the letter and died about eight hours after finishing it, his father says.
“I don’t think he said everything he wanted to say, but I think he got the point,” he says.
The video ends with a written statement attributed to Alex’s mother, who has not been named. She wrote that her son shunned personal fame and behaved in a self-deprecating manner despite his channel’s popularity skyrocketing.
“From its very early online days, Technoblade has always strategized to delight and reward its audience by giving away online prizes, encouraging good sportsmanship, and most of all, sharing your Minecraft adventures for fun and laughter,” she wrote.
Alex’s family could not be contacted on Friday. Hypixel, the game company that worked with Technoblade, said the family asked not to be asked to comment. “The video they shared contains all the information they can share at the moment,” Don Pirezo, the company’s lead administrator, said in a direct message on Twitter.
Alex first publicly acknowledged his cancer diagnosis in a video posted to his channel in August. Like others, the video showed the game while he spoke off-screen. He retained his self-deprecating, humorous style, refusing to be too serious. He also revealed his age at the time – 22 years old.
In the video, he described how the first round of chemo so exhausted him that he could barely sit at the virtual doctor’s appointment. He then joked, “Sittin’ in the chair, am I Superman?”
He said he was diagnosed after he felt severe pain in his arm. At first, he called it repetitive video game stress, but even after a few days off, he says his shoulder “swollen like crazy.”
He also pleaded with people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, saying the cancer treatment had weakened his immune system, putting him at greater risk of getting seriously ill with the coronavirus.
“I’m going to go ahead and speak for all cancer patients when I say it’s incredibly annoying when hospitals are overwhelmed with people dying from preventable diseases,” he said in the video. “I’m just saying we’ve got money for those hospital beds.
On social media, Technoblade’s friends and fans have praised him for his humor and for being a role model among Minecraft players.
Minecraft differs from most games in that its owner, Microsoft, does not control the servers where players meet online. Instead, players can create their own servers or join those created by someone else, creating an extensive network of worlds in the Minecraft universe.
Hypixel, which operates a network of Minecraft servers, said it has created a digital memorial book in which people can write messages to be printed and sent to the Technoblade family. As a tribute to the company, Technoblade’s pig avatar was featured as a statue. “A lot of the success of many of us is due to the success of Technoblade,” the company said.
One of Technoblade’s friends, YouTuber Thomas Simons, better known as TommyInnit, described him on twitter like “legend”.
“I just know,” Mr. Simons wrote, “that in heaven he is strategizing how to defeat God.”
Claire Fahey made a report.
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