Team Fortress 2 voice actors go for the Oscars with recreation of its most iconic fan skit

A scene from the Heavy is Dead parody video, showing a dead Heavy surrounded by other classes.
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve may have its eyes elsewhere at the moment but, for some, the attention never shifts from 2007's Team Fortress 2. While its developer continues to support the game, with an update as recently as March, that and everything for the last few years has been largely community authored and the game's ongoing vibrancy is entirely down to the dedicated fans that keep making Steam Workshop mods, silly videos, and endless memes (most recently about a plump and lovely seal). 

Perhaps the most popular Team Fortress 2 skit is Heavy is Dead, a 2019 YouTube video by Antoine Delak that currently has just under 20 million views. It is extremely daft, a Gmod-infused pisstake of a detective story where, at the start, the Heavy dies. The various classes of TF2 then enter the video, with most proclaiming "Heavy is dead"—their expressions and animations messed with to create some surreal effects. Its instant popularity saw the parody parodied endlessly, both in TF2 and with other games as the backdrop. It even has a Know Your Meme page.

The original Team Fortress 2 cast has recently been having a bit of a love-in with the community, and doing things like terrorising America's small towns on a hunt for sandviches, ABBA parodies, and even playing the game itself. Now you guessed it: the majority of the TF2 cast came together once more, minus a few cast members, to recreate the Heavy is Dead sketch on YouTube.

The video (below) is the work of ShorK and begins with the cast watching the video itself, which they haven't seen before, and reacting with some polite puzzlement at the fast-paced and often bizarre nature of TF2 humour. But they're game alright and you can watch the full sketch with their new voiceover around four minutes in. My personal highlight has to be Robin Atkin Downes, the Medic, who's calling in from LA with an Archimedes toy in his top pocket and obviously having an absolute blast with the absurdity of it all. Give that man an Oscar. 

It's been great watching the actors have a good time reprising their roles, though does make one wish that Valve would use some of its treasure hoard to produce some official TF2 spinoffs again: I don't think the studio's ever topped Meet The Team and, in the absence of Team Fortress 3, maybe it could get around to something like adapting the (great) TF2 comics (or at least finishing the series off).

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."