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- Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 YouTuber, Sketchek, who had led his fans to believe he had died from a terminal illness almost three years ago, has admitted that it was all a “sick joke.” His surprise return was marked with a video in which he apologizes for his actions, before going on to explain what led him to such drastic measures.
The video in question, which you can watch further down, is titled in Japanese and translates to “Apology.” It opens with Sketchek giving a blunt headline over the situation he had created, saying that “there’s something I need to get off my chest that’s been killing me and I want everyone to be on the same page going forward.” He goes on to say that the “non-specific terminal illness” he’d told his audience about years ago was indeed “a lie, a sick joke.”
He continues that he was never ill, though suggests he may have been suffering from a mental illness “because I thought it would be funny to convince people who care about me that I would fuckin’ die.” The apology, Sketchek claims, comes after the guilt of what he’d done became too much to bear, and says that he’s “of the opinion that you should be able to joke about anything you want as long as it’s funny, but in this case it really wasn’t funny.”
Sketcheck points to a trip to Japan that sparked the fake death idea, a trip that saw him take an extended break from gaming and ultimately led him to believe that “video games had ruined my life,” (he includes a note saying that this remark is an oversimplification of a larger situation). It was this realization, he says, that led him to close the channel but not without the chance to “go out with a bang.” His original plan was to upload a collection of Team Fortress 2 gameplay, though he says he wasn’t happy with that and instead opted for the fake-death idea because “I knew that would draw a lot of attention.” The YouTuber admits that he still doesn’t understand exactly what drove him to such extreme acts, only saying that while he felt conflicted he was also “bitter, as if video games had stolen something from me.”
The video goes on to explain that Sketchek wanted to make the prospect of returning to the platform difficult for himself so that he “wouldn’t get addicted again.” In the space between faking his own death and then reappearing today, Sketchek said that he’d largely stopped playing games, instead using the time to pursue other interests, and saying that he “grew up a little bit, since then.” And while he notes that he has been creating content at other, unspecified channels, he said that he’d missed playing Team Fortress 2 and wanted to return to his original channel.
He says it was a difficult decision, one that he wanted to make honestly because he’s “sick of lying,” and went about contacting a few former associates he spoke with before the disappearance. “A lot of them were able to see the funny side of it,” Sketchek says, though concedes that these were the people he felt the worst about lying to. And while Sketchek says that he “couldn’t really give a shit about the TF2 community,” he does apologize to anyone who enjoyed his videos.
It’s worth mentioning that, as an act of commemorating Sketdek, Valve reverted the Axtinguisher weapon [H/T Reddit] in Team Fortress 2, though in his Apology video, Sketchek says that he wishes Valve hadn’t done, saying “I don’t deserve it.”