Trailblazing gaming commentator TotalBiscuit battles cancer
Popular video game YouTuber John “TotalBiscuit” Bain, tweeted on Thursday that he has been diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer, and has been given a life expectancy of two to three years.
Gamers around the world were saddened by this news, as Bain has been heavily involved in the gaming and e-sports community for the last 10 years. In 2005, Bain became the host of World of Warcraft Radio, which was his first big step into the gaming scene. The station broadcast its final show in early 2010, but this only led to Bain’s further involvement in the gaming community.
After Bain’s radio hosting career came to an end, he created the YouTube channel, “The Cynical Brit,” where he produced his own gaming vlogs, reviews, and news videos. His channel’s video game review series “WTF Is…” gained a lot of attention because of his honest coverage, especially after gamers realized that Bain couldn’t be bought by developers in exchange for a positive report. This was proven in 2014, when Bain was offered early access to “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor” as long as he made a paid brand deal, which he publicly refused.
The message we got was "we can give you prerelease code but only if you do this paid brand deal". We refused, naturally.
— John Bain (@Totalbiscuit) September 28, 2014
Bain successfully used his channel, which has over 2 million subscribers, to call out to video game developers to enact changes in their games. When “Dark Souls” was first released, it wasn’t available on the PC, and could only be played on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Bain made a video that discussed the reasons why “Dark Souls” should have a PC port, and asked gamers to sign a petition to show the developer that PC gamers were interested in their game. “Dark Souls” developer FromSoftware not only created a PC version of their game afterwards, but they also started porting every title in the “Dark Souls” series to the computer.
Outside of his YouTube channel, Bain spent the last three years as the owner of the professional “Starcraft II” team, Axiom. Bain had originally planned on signing his team up to participate in the “Starcraft II” tournament Proleague 2016, but he wrote on the team’s website on Thursday that Axiom had broken up to give Bain personal time with his family while he battles cancer. Although Bain was disappointed that his team wouldn’t receive one last shot at winning a big title, he recalled the emotional day Axiom became the champions of the Global StarCraft II Team League in 2013.
“I burst into tears when the GG hit, partly from exhaustion, mostly from relief. You couldn’t get the smile off my face at Redbull Battlegrounds three hours later. That was a special moment, that’s the moment where everything became worthwhile.”
Bain’s diagnosis may seem daunting, but this isn’t the YouTube commentator’s first battle with cancer. In 2014, Bain was diagnosed with colon cancer and spent a year fighting it off. During this time, he had the support of his family and the gaming community, which is still the case in his current situation. His liver cancer may be inoperable at the moment, but he’s staying positive that medical technology will advance enough to prolong his life.
“Who knows what they’ll come up with in the next decade? I intend to beat it for as long as possible,” said Bain.
What else has TotalBiscuit done in the gaming community? Is there a specific video he posted that got you interested in his work? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.