June 30, 2022 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Technoblade, known for farming potatoes and posting the funniest Minecraft videos around, has died of cancer at age 23. His father reads a final letter from him in this video.
posted by The corpse in the library (35 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I tried to figure out if this was in poor taste -- tying it in to the potatoes theme -- then realized that even if it is it's probably what Technoblade would have wanted. The Potato War is how I first heard of him and I instantly became a fan. My kid would let me know when Techno had a stream going and we'd watch it together, a new experience for us.

My kid got me a Technoblade hoodie for Christmas last year and I wear it to work sometimes, confusing people (I'm a woman of a certain age).

I don't like Minecraft, I can't even tell you what the other games he plays are, but his humor transcends the format.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:13 PM on June 30 [13 favorites]

Hoo boy that video is a tear jerker. I was only peripherally aware of his online presence but I know there are a lot of people I’m a fan of who will be deeply affected by his passing. I think it was a wonderful video. The more people who make careers out of approachability and community online, the more this kind of thing happens. The spaces around the deaths of online people has fascinated me since I became aware that it was a thing. I think that the simplicity and clarity of that video make it exemplary. I hope that his community can help each other process this grief well, and I think that video is a great start.
posted by Mizu at 8:19 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]

I'm glad you posted. My kids spend hours watching Minecraft videos. They haven't mentioned Technoblade, but I should probably check in on them.
posted by johnxlibris at 8:20 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]

I'm sorry to hear that and I had no idea he was that young. My kid was a fan of his videos so I had a passing familiarity with them. I'll do a check in as well about Technoblade's death. I know he'd been relatively open about his struggles on his channel so my kid had some concerns that they talked through with me.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:55 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]

posted by slater at 9:12 PM on June 30

Just learned about him from this post. Watched the Potato Wars video and then the final note from his Dad. What an amazing guy, who entertained and touched the lives of millions of people with a humble, self-deprecating wit, and then passed so young. My heart goes out to his family and all his fans.
posted by darkstar at 10:09 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]

That video is so great, so funny. Sad to learn about him via his passing. Thanks for the post, OP.

posted by Bella Donna at 11:37 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]

posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 11:47 PM on June 30

posted by CaffinatedOne at 11:58 PM on June 30

my youngest (7) knows his content. thank you mefi for bringing me to a fun and beautiful part of the minecraft experience.
posted by grubby at 12:51 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]

posted by lapolla at 1:20 AM on July 1

That was hard to watch, his father trying to keep it together. I couldn't actually watch it to the very end at the office.

posted by Harald74 at 2:23 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]

I had never heard of him until your post, and just watched all of the Potato Wars stuff. It's hilarious.

The final line in the final video made me well up:
But now, with the war finally over, I'm free.
posted by benoliver999 at 5:09 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]

My son is a big fan. The fact that the final video is titled "so long nerds" broke me.
posted by signal at 5:47 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]

posted by jim in austin at 7:04 AM on July 1

My son came downstairs this morning very solemn and quiet and now I understand why. That was pretty moving.

We've lost two close family members in the last few years, one to cancer just last month. It's hitting pretty close to home.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:04 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]

I just now watched my first ever Minecraft video even though one of my kids watches them all the time. I can see the appeal and how their audience builds a connection. His passing is very sad.
posted by zeikka at 7:27 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]

My kid is a big minecraft guy. I've tried to be supportive of his interests. The problem is that most of the minecraft youtubers are either toxic as shit or boring as hell, or both.

Technoblade though? That dude was funny, and he can tell a story. It's weird that having storytelling skill is rare on Youtube, but it's true. So often it's just people fucking around while building, for like eight hours. But watch those potato videos. They're funny, they have a plot, and you can tell that the dude was a bit of a polymath.

We knew that things weren't good when Technoblade went silent for so long, but it still really hurt my son when he read the news last night. I don't think that would happen with any other youtuber.

Technoblade was one of the good ones.

posted by nushustu at 7:53 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]

A couple of years ago my then 12-year-old informed me that I was going to watch a YouTube video with them whether I wanted to or not, and immediately sat me down. Upon loading the video, our conversation went as follows:

Me: "Are we seriously going to watch a twenty minute Minecraft video about potatoes?"
Kid: "No, we're going to watch THREE twenty-minute Minecraft videos about potatoes and you're going to thank me after."

Reader, the kid was correct. Last night they were near inconsolable, having followed the whole saga, and this morning we watched the video from Techno's dad again together and cried again. Techno really was one of the good ones, and used his final months using the platform he'd built to take care of his family and raise money for cancer research.

posted by range at 8:12 AM on July 1 [10 favorites]

My eight year old has asked me to tell my "internet friends" to please build pig sanctuaries in their minecraft worlds, to be nice to pigs and potatoes and to make sure everyone has beds.

I play Minecraft (we'll be building a pig sanctuary tonight) and I watch some hermitcraft, but I don't watch Technoblade (b/c he's not a Hermit) so I don't know the context, but I trust his judgement, so please do that thing.
posted by FritoKAL at 9:28 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]

My 16-yo is big into Minecraft videos and wants me to watch some with them, which I sometimes agree to. The potato videos were some of my favorites. Kid is really broken up about this.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:35 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]

I know Technoblade's father so this has hit hard for me.

Awkwardly. I saw the news about Technoblade's passing online in the gaming community but didn't make the connection to my friend. Just a vague sense of being sad that a young creative person passed away and a slightly positive feeling that the gaming community was sharing this moment of grief in a meaningful way.

Then someone I used to work with shared Technoblade's father's video and it suddenly became a lot more personal. He and I worked together every day and were pretty friendly. But it was over 15 years ago and we'd lost touch. I knew vaguely his kid was a successful Minecraft Youtuber but hadn't put it all together until I was watching my friend talk about his son dying of cancer. How awful.

It must have taken so much fortitude to record that video. And scripted it and edited it; I'm pretty sure his father produced the whole thing himself. What a wonderful tribute to his son and what a meaningful thing to share with the gaming community. The Minecraft audience is young; many were young teenagers just like Technoblade when he got his start and are now young adults. Death is not well known to most people that age and I think this video is remarkably honest and important.
posted by Nelson at 9:46 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]

posted by JoeXIII007 at 10:43 AM on July 1


My son loves Minecraft videos. I usually find them ridiculous. The potato war though... this guy was funny. I hope his family has some peace from knowing he made so many people laugh.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:04 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]

posted by ivey at 11:06 AM on July 1

My 13 year old mentioned this yesterday, and I had meant to check it out. I just watched the videos, and was crying my eyes out half way through "so long nerds". I'm going to hug my kid once their back from class.
posted by fings at 11:20 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]

Similar experiences - my 14 year old is a fan, and she showed me the potato videos. I don't really resonate with most Minecraft content creators, but I really enjoyed the potato war saga. I knew she'd be sad today, but was totally unprepared for how much the "so long nerds" video would affect me.
posted by ivey at 11:28 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]

posted by joedan at 11:53 AM on July 1

I feel like I have to say, in the end, i_am_squid_kid actually did win.
posted by JHarris at 5:59 PM on July 1

Yesterday was a tough day in my house because of this.

range, my wife and have also been sat down by kiddos and required to watch the potato war videos. I'm glad we did, because now when my kids are grieving, I have at least some sense of why and who.
posted by feckless at 7:55 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


and f_ck cancer.
posted by k3ninho at 3:40 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]

This hit my kid hard. She dressed as Technoblade for local ComicCon last year. She and her Dad sewed a gorgeous red cape and made a crown. She posed with other Technoblades. Minecraft and sharing that space was good for her during pandemic.
posted by amanda at 6:04 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]

posted by eckeric at 9:58 AM on July 4

The kid watched Technoblade's videos, though not as much as other Minecraft YouTubers, so when they heard the news their first reaction was, "Oh, that's sad," and moved on. But then they watched their final video and was really sad. They then made me watch it and the first potato war video.

He'll be missed.

posted by Quasirandom at 8:04 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]

I'm glad to see Techno here, even though we all wish that it had been for a different reason. However, as popular as Potato War is, it doesn't really tell the whole story of who Techno was a content creator and Minecraft player.

Techno started his Youtube channel in October of 2013, when he was just 13 years old, and immediately set a goal of getting Ten Million subscribers on Youtube. When he set that goal, only a handful of channels had reached that milestone, and even now, there are fewer than 500 channels that have hit that mark. Techno started his channels playing minigames called Mega Walls and Blitz on the Hypixel server, at quickly become known both for his incredible skill at the game but also for his overall gamesense and thoughtfulness about game design - by 15 he was on the Hypixel Player Council and was helping their dev team do kit balancing and game testing.

His relationship with Hypixel remained strong over the years (including a special event coded just for him - making him temporarily the Mayor of Skyblock - in April of last year). Hypixel has created a special memorial to him, where players can leave messages for him that will eventually be shared with his family, which in a week has attracted 377,000 messages, enough to fill 200 250-page books (and players can do this through the end of the month)

In 2017 he got his first big break in the YouTube algorthym when he performed a seemingly impossible feat - he beat Minecraft in Hardcore mode - but he did it using a steering wheel setup (for driving games) rather than a mouse and keyboard or other traditional controller.

He continued to gain a steady following, and as the Hypixel server added new games, he mastered them, moving from Blitz to Skywars (where he earned the Master's level - one of the first 28 people to do so) and eventually to Bedwars. Techno was the King of Bedwars. In the fall of 2017, he set a Bedwars win-streak record of 1401 games won (all in a row, no losses), which he finally voluntarily ended. Then in early 2018 he was part of a team of players who broke that record, bumping the winstreak record to over 1700 games.

In the summer of 2019, following his one year at University, he was invited to play in the Minecraft Monday events. Minecraft Monday was a competitive Minecraft event which ran every Monday through the summer of 2019, which featured a wide variety of well known names from YouTube and Twitch to compete in a variety of mini-games. It was the first attempt to make "Minecraft esports", and despite being one of the lesser known names in the tournament, Techno dominated, winning 4 of the 12 total events, and he achieved this despite the event organizer pairing him with a steady stream of teammates who had little to no experience playing Minecraft.

Following Minecraft Monday, Techno joined SMPEarth - a multiplayer survival server designed for streaming, which was a 1:3000 scale model of Earth, where the goal for each player was to establish their own "Kingdom" or country, and then take over other territories - basically Risk, but in Minecraft. Techno discovered an exploit that would enable him to actually claim the entire map, and did so on Thanksgiving Day 2019, mostly to prove that he could.

Then came his Skyblock series back on Hypixel (including the Potato War), dominance in a MC Championships, another competitive Minecraft event where teams of 4 play in a variety of Mini games (he won twice), and him joining the DreamSMP, a roleplay based Minecraft server, which was for a period in 2020 and 2021 the hottest media property on Twitch or YouTube.

On December 31 2021, after all that, Techno reached his goal - Ten Million subscribers on Youtube. By then he'd already been diagnosed with Sarcoma, but while he was fighting that battle, he also raised over $500,000 for Sarcoma research (with more raised after his passing).

Despite being only 23 when he left us, Techno's influence in the Minecraft community is and will continue to be immense. Minecraft has included an in-game tribute to him, by adding a Pig in a Crown to the ingame launcher, and adding his catchphrase "Technoblade Never Dies" as a random text that appears on the loading screen. That makes him one of only two players who don't work for Mojang to be named in the game.

Techno was one of the greatest competitive Minecraft players ever, but even more than that was a natural storyteller, brilliant, analytical, and with amazing charisma. He attracted a massive and devoted following not by being good at the game, but by being good at the game while also being funny, smart, a very good sport (never toxic or mean), and an enormously charismatic human. He'll be deeply missed.

Here's some other videos to watch to really get a sense of the breadth of his career (but also see the videos I've linked above in the text)

The Hypixel Skyblock Experience, including maybe the greatest opening monologue of any Minecraft video ever (2019)
Absoloutely Ruining a $36,000 Minecraft Tournament (2020), Techno at the peak of his skills, winning a teams-of-four combat event despite being on a team with only 3 players
Dream Vs. Technoblade: $100,000 Duel Analysis (2020), his recap of his 1v1 duel against Dream
the history of Technoblade (2019), his 1 Million subs video and a great recap of his early career
Edgy Teenager talks about the meaning of life (2017), probably the most beloved of his skywars commentary videos
The Power of Love (2017), another iconic skywars commentary
Minecraft but Viewers Control the Game (2021), charity livestream where he beats the game despite viewers paying to put obstacles in his path. Bear in mind he was in the middle of chemo when he streamed this.
The Tree (2014), its really a two minute poem
posted by anastasiav at 7:13 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]

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