A tournament in New York City over the weekend, Defend the North, turned tragic when a participant named Bryand McIntosh suffered a seizure on the tournament floor and passed away shortly after. Known as “Krucial B,” McIntosh was a staple of the Louisiana fighting game community as rumors swirled about who or what might have responsible for his death.
New York City experienced a historic heatwave over the weekend, prompting Mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio to cancel outdoor events as the temperature began to feel over 100 degrees. Unfortunately, this also came alongside blackouts, as New Yorkers were being encouraged not to stress the electricity grid too much by power company Con Edison. This was a recipe for disaster for a fighting game tournament with Defend the North taking place in the New Yorker hotel.
Before McIntosh collapsed from a seizure, having finished a set of Samurai Shodown, reports were coming in from attendees that the tournament was not supplying adequate hydration, not allowing external water bottles, rooms cramped full of people and actively running consoles, and air conditioning was being kept to a minimum, perhaps out of electricity concerns. Participants were saying on Twitter that an unnamed someone died from the heat and lack of water, conflating McIntosh’s collapse with possibly unrelated factors.
At the moment, no authorities or tournament organizers have confirmed what exactly caused McIntosh’s seizure. While the hydration and heat may have been the main factors, or even contributory, that has yet to actually be stated beyond supposition.
Some reports have come in that the heat and water issues have been overblown, stating that water tanks were easily accessible and that there was no hard ban on external water bottles. McIntosh himself has been called “a pillar” of the fighting game community in Louisiana by his peers, who have been eulogizing the 34-year-old friend of theirs on social media over the weekend.