World of Tanks player Brian “PoShYbRiD” Vigneault was found “unresponsive” by police and declared dead on the scene during a 24-hour charity livestream for the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Sunday. Vigneault had stepped outside for a smoke, and when he didn’t come back, a Twitch moderator attempted to contact him on Discord. A police detective responded instead, and confirmed that the 35-year old man had died of unknown causes.
According to a report over on Polygon, the Virginia Beach police department’s homicide unit is investigating, but that this is standard procedure for cases like this one and “there is no reason at this time to suspect foul play” for now. Speculation on Reddit, somewhat supported by this unverified claim on Facebook, is that Vigneault had a heart attack. He was apparently a chain smoker.
This sort of thing isn’t exactly unprecedented. Author of Death by Video Game Simon Parkin explained in a 2015 interview with Huffington Post that the mix of cigarettes, caffeine, and exhaustion can cause fatal blood clots, with similar deaths dating back to the 1980s. Pregnancy, birth control pills, and air travel can also cause fatal blood clots, though, so the real lesson is that everything is bad for you, and nobody gets out alive anyway.
“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,” the game’s publisher announced in a statement. “We offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”