According to eyewitnesses, Vigneault left his desk for a smoke break at around 3:30am on February 19, during the 22nd hour of the stream, and failed to come back.
The 35-year-old father was streaming to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. While viewers and moderators had assumed Vigneault was asleep, a friend later attempted to contact the streamer via Discord, only to receive a response from a Virginia Beach detective advising he had died, and that the death was being investigated. Kotaku confirmed the investigation with the Virginia Beach police department. “There is no reason at this time to suspect foul play,” a police spokesperson told Polygon.
It’s unclear whether Vigneault’s death is a direct result of the streaming marathon, but the phenomenon has been under scrutiny for its potential health impacts, the report says.
Vigneault’s gaming clan FAME posted a statement on its Facebook page today in tribute to the Twitch personality. “…we just can not find words to describe how sad is this moment for all of us and for sure this game will not be the same without the legend,” it reads. “Maybe the saddest lines can not really be written, and the saddest thoughts can not really be uttered.”
The streamer’s Twitch channel has become an impromptu place for tributes to Vigneault.
“Brian “PoShYbRiD” Vigneault was a beloved streamer in the World of Tanks community. Father of three, and friend to many, Brian passed away on February 19th, 2017 doing what he loved; Streaming to his Twitch community of over 7,000 followers. Brian has made friends all across the globe and was well regarded though he did tend to have his moments of rage that only further endeared him to his followers and friends. This fund has been created for the benefit of his three children he left behind and will be managed by his father, Ronald. At only 35 years of age he was taken from them and us far too soon. We will always keep you in our hearts and memories so that you may live on forever as part of your awesome community and a legend in your own right. Though the void you left cannot be filled knowing this fund will go towards your children’s future gives us some respite in our time of grief and sorrow.”