Update 6/5/23: And just like that, we have a winner of the Hardcore race, and it wasn't Saturday's leader wudijo or his preferred class, the Rogue. Professional Starcraft/DotA player cArn_ took the crown with another Barbarian despite the weekend's nerf. Permanent Barbarian economy.
Original Story: As reported by PCGamesN, streamer Rob2628 was the first Diablo 4 player in the world to reach the game's max level of 100 on its normal difficulty, with four more players having since reached the finish line as well. The world's first Hardcore mode 100, meanwhile, remains up for grabs, with streamer wudijo currently leading at level 87.
Rob2628 took the crown with a beefy shout and whirlwind-focused Barbarian build, as well as a crew of friends who helped him run the XP-rich Champion's Demise dungeon on repeat thanks to a cheeky level-resetting exploit. Rob2628's quest took around 54 hours to complete, and he managed to get most of his progress in before Blizzard dropped in a sneaky hotfix to nerf his Barb of choice.
Competitors Draelin, rengar666, KlapopjeKOP, and Willemh were quick to join Rob2628 in the 100 club, with another 9 players already in the 90s as well. All of this applies to the race on Diablo 4's normal difficulty, or as Diablo Builds has unfortunately dubbed it, "Softcore."
The race for Hardcore world's first 100 is still on, with players not only vying to level up quickly, but also carefully—death is permanent in Hardcore, and we've already seen Team Liquid owner Maximum and Path of Exile/WoW streamer Imexile have their runs cut short by glitches. Diablo/PoE streamer wudijo is currently in the lead at level 87, with PoE streamer ben_ trailing in second at level 85. That's a bigger gap than it may seem at first, with XP demands increasing exponentially as one levels up in Diablo 4, but the risky and unpredictable nature of Hardcore means it could still be anyone's game.
Those increasing XP demands mean it could still take some time yet for the first Hardcore runner to reach 100 and get their name on Blizzard's nifty statue of Lilith, Diablo 4's poster child Lady Diablo. You can follow the overall progress of the race on the Diablo Builds website and Twitch channel. For now though, congratulations to Rob2628, time for a nap and a snack.