‘Technoblade Never Dies’: Former UI student and YouTuber remembered after death

With the merch that students wear when walking across campus, an event planned by a UI student, and the YouTuber simply being mentioned in passing conversations his legacy is being carried on.

April 30, 2023

Editor’s note: The now-deceased YouTuber and streamer Technoblade never publicly identified himself. The Daily Iowan is respecting his family’s wish to refer to him as Technoblade throughout the article. The father will be referred to by his online name, Mr. Technodad.

Ten months after Technoblade’s death, fans continue to post their favorite memories and moments with the famous Minecraft streamer to social media.

Of these voices, University of Iowa students are shining through after Alex, known online as Technoblade, was revealed to have attended the UI.

While Technoblade was alive, fans often uttered a popular phrase: “Technoblade never dies.”

Technoblade’s impact can be seen in the merch students wear when walking across campus, events planned by UI students, and mentions to the YouTuber made in passing. These actions show that Technoblade’s mantra ultimately rang true.

Technoblade started his YouTube channel in 2013 when the San Francisco native would play Minecraft and tell stories from his everyday life. As of April 30, his channel has amassed a following of 16 million subscribers.

Technoblade showed early signs of being a video game master, even as a child.

At five years old, Technoblade approached his dad — who sat at his desk playing the popular historical video game Rise of Nations — and asked if he could join in. Over a decade later, Technoblade’s dad, known online as Mr. Technodad, recalled some of his fondest memories of playing the game with his son.

Despite Technoblade’s love for Minecraft, Mr. Technodad said his son would return to his roots by playing Rise of Nations in the last six months of his life.

On Aug. 27, 2021, Technoblade announced to his fans that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Just under a year later, his father announced Technoblade’s death in a video uploaded June 30, 2022, titled “so long nerds.”

‘So long nerds’

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher

‘So long nerds’

After the original sarcoma diagnosis, Mr. Technodad said he knew it was bad even though he wasn’t a doctor.

“[Technoblade] was very open about the cancer, but he never said anything about the fact that it was all through his lungs on the day that we found it,” He said in an emotionally-charged and tearful interview with The Daily Iowan. “There’s nothing they can do for that.”

After his diagnosis, Technoblade used his fanbase to fundraise and raise awareness about sarcoma. His dad said the first few weeks after the initial doctor’s appointment were chaotic, but Technoblade wasted no time putting a positive spin on the terrible situation.

“He got home and got his feet under him, and he was like, ‘Dad, it’s time to do some cancer research charity work,’ and he raised a whole lot of money for the Sarcoma Foundation of America,” Mr. Technodad said. “I’m so proud of him for that.”

Technoblade and his legacy have raised over $1 million for the foundation and sarcoma research, leaving a mark of support and solidarity for other patients.

The Sarcoma Foundation of America awarded Technoblade the Courage Award at their Stand Up to Sarcoma Gala on Sept. 28, 2022. The organization also has a page on its website dedicated to Technoblade.

“He used his significant platform on behalf of sarcoma patients and survivors to create hope and a better life for people diagnosed with sarcoma,” the website reads. “Techno created a legacy that will impact generations of sarcoma patients.”

Technoblade continued to post and stream on YouTube after he announced his diagnosis, and his following continued to grow.

Mr. Technodad said it was Technoblade’s goal to reach 10 million subscribers since he began the Technoblade Youtube channel. On New Year’s Eve 2021, he reached the goal despite his deteriorating health.

“Ten million subs was bittersweet,” Mr. Technodad said. “By December, things were not looking very good.”

Mr. Technodad said in his last few months, Technoblade wanted to interact with his fans, but he didn’t know how. Ultimately, Technoblade wrote out the script to announce his death and tasked his dad with reading it to his fans.

“So long nerds” currently stands at 94 million views and trended on YouTube throughout 2022. Nine months after it was posted, the views continue to increase.

The video starts with Mr. Technodad holding their family dog Floof and then transitions to him reading the message left behind by Technoblade.

The audio is laid over unreleased footage of Technoblade playing Minecraft. Mr. Technodad said it was an homage to his son’s original content.

Mr. Technodad chose to continue sharing Technoblade’s stories a few months after publishing “so long nerds” after seeing how much his son meant to the Minecraft community.

“Alex’s death created a lot of grief in the world. I expected there to be grief, but I was shocked at how much it was,” Mr. Technodad said. “That left me feeling I’m a dad to a lot of kids and I care about their well-being. And that’s kind of what pulled me into Reddit.”

Technoblade, UI Student

It was revealed through a photo posted to Reddit by Mr. Technodad on Nov. 19, 2022, that Technoblade attended the UI in 2018.

While fans have speculated where Technoblade went to college ever since he mentioned attending one for a year in a 2021 video, the location was never confirmed until Mr. Technodad posted a photo of Technoblade in front of the Old Capitol Museum on the Pentacrest with the caption “starting college.”

Upon that reveal, several UI students posted online and shared that this information made them feel closer to the YouTuber.

Max Baum, a UI sophomore who started watching Technoblade during the COVID-19 pandemic, was surprised to learn Technoblade went to the UI.

Knowing Technoblade went to the same university, Baum said he feels more cemented in his belief that he chose the right school.

“There’s always been the sports people who go here,” Baum said. “You go to admire these people, and then to learn that even the people who deliberately hid their faces had the same connection, spent that same amount of time looking for the perfect place to continue their studies, and chose the same place I did. It makes me feel more whole in a way.”

Technoblade studied creative writing, which didn’t surprise Mr. Technodad because his son always wanted to be a writer.

“He was always creative,” Mr. Technodad said. “He always had stories about mythological characters or original characters he wanted to tell.”

Mr. Technodad said he believes his son’s storytelling set him apart from other gaming streamers.

Technoblade wrote a piece for a UI class recounting some of his experiences at the university titled “First Flight,” which Mr. Technodad read to DI reporters.

Each anecdote in the piece captured moments unique to the UI — a tangible tie between the YouTube sensation and Iowa City.

The piece mentioned how Technoblade’s top bunk was close to the ceiling in Rienow Residence Hall where he lived during his time at the UI. It also described how Technoblade found Hillcrest Market Place for the first time to get food and underwent the daunting task of navigating the Cambus schedule.

“I [Technoblade] understood the gist of the bus routes from orientation,” Mr. Technodad read. “The Red Route takes you to Rienow, whereas the Blue Route takes you to human civilization.”

Over the summer leading to Technoblade’s first year of college, another YouTuber named Skeppy began to livestream. Mr. Technodad said Technoblade often talked about Skeppy. When he started livestreaming and gaining popularity, Technoblade wanted to follow suit, so he deferred a year.

“I remember a specific phrase he used to say:  ‘Skeppy cracked the code,’” Mr. Technodad said.

Technoblade understood that right now only lasted for the right now,  Mr. Technodad said, and so when Skeppy’s livestreams were exploding, Technoblade didn’t want to miss the opportunity. He ended up taking a gap year before college to try out streaming. Once enrolled at the UI, he explored his passions for writing and storytelling.

During the summer after his first year at the UI, Technoblade came home and was invited to Minecraft Monday, a weekly Minecraft tournament between June 2019 and November 2019 hosted by Keemstar, another YouTuber.

After the tournament, Technoblade made the decision to pursue YouTube and return to his education at a later time, Mr. Technodad said.

Timeline by Jami Martin-Trainor/The Daily Iowan

Technoblade’s lasting impression

In Minecraft, pigs are one of the animals players can kill to get resources like meat for food. Technoblade’s Minecraft skin, which is his avatar in the game, resembled Minecraft’s pigs.

After Technoblade’s passing, Baum said he made the decision to not kill any pigs in Minecraft in honor of him because there are other animals that offer the same or similar resources.

Contributed photo by Amelia Dooley.

Baum also created a statue of Technoblade in Minecraft in memoriam, piecing together the game’s iconic cubes to digitally recreate the YouTuber’s Minecraft skin. The statue lives on Baum’s own personal server, so people can’t see it without an invitation. Other fans honor Technoblade in different ways.

Amelia Dooley, a junior at the UI majoring in criminology, first saw on Reddit that Technoblade formerly attended the UI, much like many other fans.

Dooley and a friend decided to recreate the infamous photo outside of the Old Capitol Building while wearing Technoblade merch and holding a stuffed Technoblade toy. Technoblade created merchandise early on in his career, and one of the items released was a stuffed plush of a pig wearing a crown and cape.

“I think it would make a lot of people on the internet happy,” Dooley said.

Dooley said they had been watching Technoblade’s videos for the past six years, and knowing he went to the UI means a lot to them.

In one of Technoblade’s videos, the Minecraft YouTuber mentioned taking a rhetoric class, which is a general education requirement for students at the UI. Dooley said after learning Technoblade went through the same course at the same institution, they gained a bit of motivation and inspiration.

After knowing Technoblade went to the UI, Dooley also said they were able to see the videos where Technoblade mentions his own college experience in a new light.

“It just changed the way I looked at him and a lot of his content, and then it changed the way I looked at the school itself,” Dooley said.

After posting the photo in front of the Old Capitol Building on Reddit, Dooley received well over a thousand up-votes and several replies showing overwhelming support and appreciation from the Technoblade fanbase.

On April 17, about four months after the original post, Dooley posted on Twitter to invite fans from around Iowa City to make a larger recreation of Technoblade’s first-day of college photo.

Dooley called for fans to meet in front of the Old Capitol Building on May 7 at 2 p.m. wearing Technoblade merchandise if possible. Several fans replied to the post on Twitter and a similar post on Reddit stating they would be there.

While Mr. Technodad has made no comment on whether he will fly in to attend, he commented on Dooley’s original post:

“This warms my heart,” Mr. Technodad’s reply reads. “You made a pilgrimage pigrimage to that exact spot.”

Along with remaining active on Reddit, Mr. Technodad has interacted with Technoblade’s fanbase in other ways. He hosted a charity livestream with Minecraft YouTuber Dream and discussions with other streamers including Skeppy, Wilbur Soot, and TommyInnIt.

Wilbur Soot and TommyInnIt published their book, “The Quote Book,” with a dedication to Technoblade. Mr. Technodad said seeing the dedication helped him realize how important his son was to other streamers and the gaming community.

The influence that Technoblade had on the UI and communities beyond can be seen both in the worldwide reactions on the internet and from the students that walk the UI campus every day.

From his name being memorialized in books to the events being held in Technoblade’s honor, the YouTuber’s mantra, “Technoblade never dies,” applies to beyond his immediate life.

“The name Technoblade is going to live on for a long time because of who he was, how he impacted people, and how he continues to impact people,” Dooley said. “It’s been over half a year since he passed, and I’m still talking about him right now.”

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