Roughly 1,500 gamers made their way to New York City last weekend to attend an annual video game tournament known as "Defend the North" that took place in the New Yorker Hotel from July 19 to July 21. DNT 2019 was host to 30 tournaments during the three-day event, featuring a variety of popular fighting games that included Street Fighter 5, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mortal Kombat 11, and many more. One of the attendees, Bryand "Krucial B" McIntosh, a Louisiana man that is looked at as a leader in his community, was rushed to the hospital where he later died after suffering from a heart attack during the event.
Bryand McIntosh fell unconscious in a public restroom during Defend the North on Saturday, July 20 and was rushed to a local hospital in New York City. A family member later confirmed that McIntosh had suffered from a heart attack related to a medical issue that ran in the family. McIntosh was looked up to as a leader in the Louisiana fighting game community, garnering a huge response from friends and attendees distraught by the loss and sending their condolences to his family.
Fellow attendee and friend of McIntosh, Dr. Sol, was the first to post online after hearing about what happened. The Defend the North organizers did not notify attendees of the emergency during the event, with news quickly spreading online through social media. Lack of information regarding McIntosh's death meant that many staff and attendees weren't aware of the severity of the emergency or that there even was one,to begin with. This also led to widespread speculation that overcrowding and lack of water availability may have led to McIntosh' death as the event took place while New York City was in the middle of an intense heatwave.
He looked fine while he was playing SonicSol on stream, but an hour or so later it happened.https://t.co/G2wn4DYxuT— GOL | Dr. Sol (LoyalSol) (@LoyalSol) July 21, 2019
Temperatures are said to have reached heights of 96 degrees Fahrenheit throughout Saturday and Sunday. And while the event did have air-conditioning in the building, overcrowding during peak hours was unavoidable with multiple tournaments taking place at once. Most notably Dragon Ball FighterZ and Samurai Shodown, which took place in the same room at the same time with 188 entrants and 146 entrants respectively. McIntosh was one of the competitors during the Samurai Shodown tournament.
Defend the North lead organizer, Andy Dumornay posted an official statement on the event's Facebook page and website on Monday:
Rest In Peace, Bryand McIntosh.
The staff at DTN and myself are devastated by the loss of Bryand McIntosh aka Krucial B this weekend.
It is with a heavy heart that we search for words to accurately describe the gravity of losing one of our own at a time that is supposed to be a celebration of our community. We offer our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Krucial B. Our thoughts are with you as you deal with this unimaginable loss.
From myself and the team at DTN, I pledge to do anything and everything we can to assist with investigations into Bryand's death. We're deeply shocked and mourn along with the community.
- Andy Dumornay
Speculation aside, it's clear that McIntosh untimely death was unrelated to the Defend the North tournament. How the event was organized would not have made for a comfortable experience, however, the family has confirmed that it was caused by a medical issue that ran in the family and since urged others with any form of medical history to have themselves check out.
Byrand "Krucial B" McIntosh made a huge impact on the lives of those around it and will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and fellow competitors. The Louisiana fighting game community will be hosting a memorial tournament on August 17 in honor of McIntosh.