Bryand McIntosh, a Louisiana-based member of the fighting game community, passed away this weekend during Defend the North, a yearly tournament based in New York City. According to participants present at the event, McIntosh suffered a seizure in the venue.
“I witnessed someone having a seizure today in the [Defend the North] bathroom and I went to go get help for him,” says Sinai Fang, a competitive Smash Bros. player. “And luckily I was able to find hotel workers that were able to help.”
“I saw him being surrounded by paramedics at DTN on the bathroom floor,” said @MBS_MegaChad on Twitter.
Despite the aid, entrants at the event are reporting that McIntosh passed away. Organizers for Defend the North, as well as Capcom — a sponsor for the tournament — did not respond in time for press. Capcom did, however, confirm the incident via social media.
We are very saddened by the sudden passing of Bryand ‘@Krucial_B‘ McIntosh. He was a pillar in the Louisiana FGC and the community as a whole. Our deepest condolences to family and friends.
RIP Bryand. You will be missed.
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) July 22, 2019
Defend the North is part of the Capcom Pro Tour, a series of international fighting game tournaments sponsored by Capcom.
Security at the venue confirmed to Polygon that someone did get sick on the premises and was escorted away, but could not provide more information about what happened next.
McIntosh had signed up to compete in Defend the North’s tournaments for Street Fighter 5 and Samurai Shodown.
As the participants at the competition tell it, Defend The North was a poorly managed event. The tournament, which unfolded during a heat wave in New York, was happening as temperatures reached around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Players at the event say that these temperature conditions, along with a poorly-managed venue, made for a bad experience over the weekend.
“I will probably never attend DTN ever again,” said Justin Wong, a top fighting game player, on Twitter. “Scheduling, delays, heat, no drinks, not up to date setups, no coordination, staff not knowing what’s up with the tourney,” he continued.
These complaints were echoed by others present at Defend the North with fans noting issues with the amount of space, lack of air conditioning, tournament progression, and more. Multiple participants also say that there were problems with water availability — apparently, players weren’t allowed to bring water from outside the venue, though some are reporting thatwater coolers were provided for competitors. Conflicting reports have led to confusion around the incident, with some believing that McIntosh’s death was related to the water and temperature situation at the event. Footage taken during the tournament, however, shows McIntosh near water bottles.
I’m sad to say that yesterday I lost a great friend, teacher and big brother in my life. He is one of the reasons I rep GOL so proudly and how I am the competitor I am today. You will be missed dearly and the legacy you created in the LAFGC will live on. RIP GOL Krucial B #GOLpic.twitter.com/LYR4a72xuR
— GOL | Synphony (❤ RIP GOL Krucial B ❤) (@GOLSynphony) July 21, 2019
“Louisiana lost a catalyst for a lot of people in the FGC,” said NovaSpec, a friend of McIntosh. “I lost a mentor & a teacher. We all lost a friend. RIP Bryand. You made such an impact on so many people.”