Jaggy's Corner! - Saturday May 26


This article isn't going to be easy to write and that's for good reason. Many of you may not know this but while writing this I've been crying, allowing mascara to run down my face as it hits the ground for a person I never actually had the chance to meet. It stings my eyes and I have felt very ill while typing this article. It sucks because this is by far the hardest article I'll ever write. Good thing I can touch type because this would have been impossible...

Let me tell you about my experiences as a viewer to the amazing life of John "Totalbiscuit" Bain.

Introduction to TotalBiscuit


Many years ago I got into a little known MMO called World of Warcraft. Hell, if there are people out there that AREN'T familiar with the game, I'd be really surprised. Anyways, I was questing in a zone that had just come out with a group of people that were pugged to complete a 5 man quest. The next day, my account was hacked and I thought one of those four people was the culprit. Out of those people, the one person I talked to after I got my account back ended up becoming a real life friend.

Nev introduced me to BluePlz and that is how I first heard the tales of Kungen. Though, I only had two episodes and I didn't even know what a podcast was at the time. Often I just listened to the story when it began playing in my iTunes list. That's how this whole thing started, though I didn't know anything about the man behind the voice.

A few years later, I became invested in the Starcraft 2 community where I started to watch YouTubers like Husky, Day9, and Lowko. It was then that I discovered professional esports and how I became reintroduced to TB for a second time. He casted a few matches and somehow I ended up with the knowledge of him being part of The Game Station Podcast. It was at this point that I recognized the voice but didn't understand why until much later. You see, TB talked about the WoW Radio days on the TGS podcast and how he used to have the nickname of BluePlz. That's when the lightbulb flickered on. I finally understood why the voice was familiar... This man was Kungen.

The Podcast

Because of the TGS podcast, which eventually became the Co-Optional Podcast, I was introduced to amazing gaming influencers like Angry Joe, Jim Sterling, Danny O'Dwyer, Margaret Krohn, and so many other wonderful people – none of whom I've met IRL.

Through TB's YouTube channel, I learned about other video games because of the "WTF is...?" series. Sometimes I'd yell at the screen about how wrong TB was about a game until one day when he said, "It's alright to have a different opinion of a game." I felt like a rebel for liking certain games he didn't, but that's alright. We're different people.

I came to respect his content and his impact in Starcraft and in gaming. I made it mandatory to watch all of the podcasts, no matter what it took. I needed to know what games were coming out and the big gaming news each week. I had planted my flag.

TB never let me down as a viewer. I understood that everyone has an opinion since everyone has different criteria for gaming. He taught many how to critically think about the gaming industry and its developers. He also taught people that we have to hold everyone accountable for their actions – or sometimes inaction. We must put our money where our mouths are and not pre-order incomplete games that only showcase pre-rendered footage instead of actual game play. As in, he taught the industry to be shepards, not sheep.

I recall seeing a video where Jesse, Dodger, and TB played Just Dance. The dancing prowess of the three of them was not fantastic but it was great fun to watch. I mean, we're talking about a group of people who were truly best friends that, from a viewer perspective, were always together. Having such close friends when you're in the eyes of the gaming world or celebrity world, is very valuable to maintaining ones sanity.

I also remember that TB, Jesse, and Dodger had the unique opportunity to work with Guillermo Del Toro on a hammy fan made promo video for the movie Pacific Rim. At the time, I knew nothing about the movie but after this promo video, I decided to give it a go. I ended up enjoying the movie without knowing much about it. The selling point? The voice of GLaDOS from the portal series. Truly. You can experience that magical video below.


Starcraft 2

Many might know that for a couple of years Totalbiscuit founded his own professional Starcraft 2 team that consisted of Koreans that did not speak English well. He respected his players and gave them every opportunity he could at the time. He wanted Starcraft 2 to continue thriving. TB's dedication to Starcraft rivals that of Artosis, Tasteless, and Day9 in my opinion.

Anyways, the ongoing issue of the team sat under two umbrellas. TB had moved to the United States and therefore was challenged in his ability to meet the players in person. The second umbrella of issue was the massive language barrier. In a comical twist, the Korean language does not have a precise translation for "TotalBiscuit". As a result, the Korean players called him the equivalent to "the sum total of all the cookie." He really was the whole cookie but I digress...

AXIOM, the team he founded, ended up taking a side line later on. It was too much to continue to run the team, despite his best efforts. I believe that was when TB begun having issues with his health. Like everything else, he tackled the disease head on. Not only that, but he wouldn't let it stop him from putting on the ShoutCraft Clan Wars – his own created tournament. He kept that going for as long as he could in order to keep the toughest RTS on the market alive.



Health

After news of his health had come out, a number of things happened. Sadly, in my haze of tired and emotional outbursts, I can't recall the specific order of things. However, TB would not bow down to anything. He took the high road and made a video where he urged people to go get checked out as soon as they felt like something was wrong. Because of that, he likely saved many lives by being honest with people about colonoscopies. And I say that because there are people who are scared of doctors/hospitals/etc... Sometimes people need reminding even if they know what action should be taken.

Anyways, later that year, I had asked a friend if he could get me an autograph from Kevin "RotterdaM" van der Kooi – another Starcraft 2 caster that I enjoyed watching. Unfortunately, because of issues with his visa to the USA, Rotti didn't make it to the event so I wasn't able to get his autograph.

In between that event and the next, I discovered that TB would be at an event my friend would be attending. The friend felt bad about missing out on the previous autograph and said he'd make it up to me somehow. I asked if it was possible to get TB's autograph, knowing that it might be tough. I didn't want it to be anything epic and if anyone could get that for me, Temp0 would be the one. In my mind, I figured that given my living situation, I was unlikely to make it to an event that TB could attend before he passed. At the time, I didn't know that I'd be right...

Before writing this piece, I plotted out things I wanted to mention. The autograph event is among those moments. And weirdly, late in the evening of May 24th - after the news broke of TB's passing - Temp0 streamed. He made mention of asking TB for an autograph, for me.


Another thing that followed TB's diagnosis was an amazing post done on the Team Liquid website. It was a truly heartfelt post dedicated to TB where the community essentially said that we would be there for him, no matter what happened. Unfortunately, I cannot find this post again and it makes me sad... Anyways, from that point, TB made it a point to keep fighting because he was not going to let some stupid disease take him down. He fought for Starcraft, for gaming ethics and standards, and for honesty and transparency from game developers. He was going to fight cancer in the same way he always had. Because of those things, he was a legend for gamers, pioneering many into their chosen professions like itmejp and hundreds of others. In fact, I've read countless twitter posts about how TB pushed people to become better. I am one of them.


His Best Anime Friendo

One of his best friends, Dodger, was helped by TB in a way that only viewers of the podcast and her stream would know. She had entered a relationship with Strippin fairly early on when the podcast became "Co-Optional". The two had large stream/YouTube followings before meeting, and knowing that neither of their successes superseded the others, decided to get involved.

Later, Strippin approached TB to get assistance on a major project. He wanted to propose to Dodger by way of making a video game that recounted special moments in their relationship. The amusing part about this story is that Dodger had put off going to Europe to see Strippin because of gaming commitments! The poor guy had to wait a full week before he was able to see her and get her to play the game which led to his proposal.

Last week Dodger had a baby girl and presumably TB was at least able to see the beautiful life that he helped bring into existence (in the sense that he helped orchestrate the marriage proposal. Don't get that twisted.)


The Ending of My Viewer Story

TB was younger than me. That concept is terrifying.

From the year 2014 when he was first diagnosed with cancer, he defied the odds, made a difference in people's lives, and provided a solid foundation for his family to have a good quality of life. While I never met the man, I respected him and loved him for everything he did as a major gaming influencer. He touched the lives of thousands of people, whether directly or not, and he will live on in all of us. Hell, he's one of the main reasons I wanted to get into esports in a professional capacity.

Not everyone liked the man – he even had some extremely public outbursts to indicate such – but regardless, he pushed people to take a stand. He forced people to have an opinion, good or bad. He brought people together. That is what an influencer does; they force people to give a shit about something.

I was linked a post from the subreddit Writing Prompts. One person had an epic response that was very much in the spirit of TB. I'm simply going to link it. Enjoy that.

Baneling, if you ever read this, I want you to know that your father was an amazing person. And your mother is even better for being able to manage the chaos brought to her. So, if I could ever tell you a solid piece of advice, it would be don't believe everything people say about him. One day you will understand that 90% of the content spewed by media sites is utter crap. That said, this article, is straight from the heart. In future, I hope you find a calling that leaves a lasting legacy, regardless of what that might be.

Genna, you are a strong woman and have gone through some of the toughest situations, from running a Starcraft team to managing a family to dealing with internet trolls. Please keep that tough exterior. I know that there are jerks out there that will give you flack by association. Since you are a Bain, I know you will continue to be tough as nails and shouldn't let people bring you down. TB wouldn't want that. You have so many supporters that you can call on. Any time. I look forward to your future and hope that you will carry the torch. But before that, make sure you take all the time you need. I can also only hope that we'll still get an arbitrary awards at the end of the year because the gaming community still needs a champion.

I'll leave you all with this clip if you don't mind some profanity (in a good way). This is from JebroUnity's stream on May 24th, 2018.


I will miss you.

As much as it pains me to say this, until next time TB. (In case you didn't know, TB would always close out his content with that phrase.)

Article by Susan N.
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