Esports company ESL announced last week that John “TotalBiscuit” Bain will be inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame at the end of the month. Bain, who died of cancer at 33 earlier this year, will be the first nonplayer the hall of fame will include.
“His influence on the esports scene cannot be understated as his passion and support helped drive various competitive titles towards the heights they reached today. He left behind a body of work unmatched by any other while still managing to give a voice to indie scenes and breakout players,” an article on ESL’s website reads.
“His legacy will live on.”
Coming from someone who didn’t follow Bain’s work closely, this is a well-deserved recognition of Bain’s legendary status in the video game industry. I’m glad it’s happening.
Bain was a famous streamer and games journalist of a sort who shined a light on independent games on his popular YouTube channel. His podcast had a diehard following of fans who admired Bain’s wisdom and knowledge of the video game industry. In his short 33 years, he left a mark that will honestly be felt for generations.
Unfortunately, Bain was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014. He died in May 2018 after a lengthy and, frankly, courageous battle. He continued to work right until the end, and his wife, Genna Bain, has since picked up the mantle and is carrying on her husband’s work in his name.
I didn’t watch Bain’s content, but, as a gamer, it was impossible to not know who he was and his influence in the industry. I was saddened by his death just on the basis that Bain was a fellow game-lover who died too soon to a disease no one deserves.
Unfortunately, it took mere hours after Bain’s death for his detractors to begin spitting on his memory.
Websites published screeds dishonoring Bain and his catalog of work, and prominent people within the industry straight-up celebrated Bain’s death on Twitter, all because Bain tended to criticize mainstream games sites to stick up for consumers and had respectful, political differences with games journalists. To see people celebrate an innocent man’s untimely death was disgusting; I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for Bain’s wife to witness.
Bain was facing death threats and other vile harassment long before his death—so much so that he actually saw a therapist to deal with the problem. Bain wasn’t given a fair shake in the last few years of his life, but it’s nice to see the majority of the industry remembers and values his contributions to video games and is choosing to honor his memory now that he has passed.
Rest in peace, TotalBiscuit.