When I read TotalBiscuit’s tweet about his cancer having come back much, much worse than before, man was that depressing. He shortly afterwards also tweeted about fully intending to be the outlier that lives beyond the 2-3 year estimate the doctors gave him, but the situation was looking so bleak I barely even registered it. I was just filled up by this feeling of dread and powerlessness, and I’m just someone that enjoys watching his videos, I have no idea what it’s like for TB’s close family and friends, leave alone the man himself. I’ve lost my grandparents to cancer years ago, but they lived in another country, so weirdly/sadly enough I think I ended up spending less time with them than I’ve been watching TB vids and vlogs.
After the initial shock subsided I had this big impulse to get some sort of tribute picture out there, but I wasn’t sure from what angle to approach it. I love TB’s stuff for all sorts of reasons. I love it when he gets super-serious and professional and writes out detailed thoughts on complicated gaming-related issues, but I’m also really fond of him getting silly and salty roleplaying a soup-flinging techpriest named Kappa and getting screwed over by RNG in Hearthstone. Not to mention without him I wouldn’t be playing a lot of the games I’ve grown fond of, including Dota 2, which now makes up quite a bit of my gallery and through which I’ve come in contact with quite a few awesome people.
In the end, I actually came around to that tweet I had previously ignored. About TB intending to be the outlier. Because that’s I guess what it boiled down to, I loved his stuff because TB’s an outlier. There’s so many content creators that constantly try to take refuge in audacity to avoid criticism, but TB for the most part holds himself to really high standards. There’s the occasional moments of “haha, professionalism!” where he takes the piss out of himself or his shows, but they pale in comparison to the work he put into his videos and the framework surrounding them, from worrying about properly disclosing sponsored content and involvement with relevant third parties (I always love how confidently he proclaims some content is being “proudly sponsored by X”, when many other YouTubers try to hide/minimize the fact or call themselves “sellouts” in advance. I just can’t help but respect his attitude), to discussing complicated hot topics from multiple viewpoints and always highlighting that nothing is truly free of bias, to experimenting with all sorts of video formats and not hesitating to discontinue something or take something down he feels is too low quality, even if it made him a good amount of money. Where most people will avoid the toxic comments sections and laugh at themselves before other could do it, TB seems to obsess over every mistake and inch of room for improvement, to the point where everyone really started to get worried by his stress levels and mental health way before any cancer news.
But it’s exactly that kind of pro-consumer dedication and vision and drive for self-improvement that makes TotalBiscuit such a strong and influential voice in the gaming community that I've got an immense respect for. He calls himself “CynicalBrit”, but I’ll be damned if he wasn’t one of the biggest idealists and dreamers in his niche, and not just someone that would talk about their dreams and ambitions. I don’t know anyone even close to his level. To me, he already is, and he always has been, the outlier.
Don’t make convert this wall of text into past tense any time soon, TB.
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