Brian Vigneault, a Twitch streamer known by his online handle 'PoShYbRiD,' died this week during a 24-hour marathon in aid of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The 35-year-old father of three was producing and playing a 24-hour marathon of the online game World Of Tanks when he reportedly 'stepped out for a smoke' during the 22nd hour of the marathon.
Viewers grew concerned when Vigneault, from Virginia Beach in the USA, failed to return to his webcam. Virginia Beach Police were called to Vigneault's residence a little over an hour later to assist an 'unresponsive individual.' He was pronounced dead at the scene. At some point, a police detective using Vigneault's account confirmed the death to his online friends, but could not reveal the cause of death.
Police have stated that there was no reason to suspect foul play. It's possible that Vigneault, known for drinking and smoking heavily during his streams, may have died due to heart complications from severe sleep deprivation.
Vigneault regularly hosted charity events for various organizations, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the designated charity. According to his profile page, Vigneault has previously raised over $10,000 for various veterans' and children's charities.
The First, And Hopefully The Last, Streaming Casualty
This isn't the first time that someone has died during an extended period of gaming, but it is the first time someone was streaming while doing so. Vigneault's case may be extreme, but it's worth noting that many streamers feel pressure to push themselves to be on camera as much as possible, and in some cases this can adversely affect their health.
Vigneault's tragic death should be a warning to any streamers (experienced or not) who are thinking about attempting a 24H+ live stream. Gamers thinking about doing a marathon would do well to get a physical check-up with a doctor first to make sure that there's no risk to their body.
Tributes Flood In For This Generous Gamer
Wargaming.net, publisher of World of Tanks, released the following statement on Vigneault's death.
"Wargaming is saddened to hear of the loss of streamer and tanker Brian Vigneault, aka ‘PoShYbRiD,’ a devoted player of World of Tanks and contributor to the Make-A-Wish foundation. We offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."
The moderators of Poshy's Twitch stream have turned his channel into a memorial, where users have been sending their condolences.
Vigneault's gaming clan, FAME, also paid tribute to the streamer via the following Facebook statement:
"Sad news from Virginia beach. One of the most famous NA streamers and a member of our clan Poshybrid has passed away at the age of 35. We just can not find words to describe how sad this moment for all of us and for sure this game will not be the same without the legend. Maybe the saddest lines can not really be written, and the saddest thoughts can not really be uttered. Let's all hope that he is in a better place right now, and may his soul Rest in Peace."
"He will never be forgotten ... a person who stays in our hearts never dies."
A GoFundMe page has also been set up, with the money raised going to Vigneault's family and three children.
Our condolences to Poshy's family and friends. To any other streamers out there taking on marathons, please take care of yourselves!