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Beloved World of Warcraft cosplayer Jarod Nandin has died

Jarod Nandin
(Image credit: Jarod Nandin)

Jarod Nandin, a cosplayer most famous among Blizzard fans for portraying South Park's Jenkins from its World of Warcraft episode, has died. In late December, Nandin was admitted to the hospital and shortly after tested positive for COVID-19. In the weeks since, he continued to provide updates on his condition. Yesterday, several personal friends and BlizzCon host Michele Morrow said on social media that Nandin had died. 

Nandin rose to fame in the World of Warcraft community back in 2013 when he participated in a BlizzCon cosplay contest dressed as "that which has no life" a reference from South Park's infamous World of Warcraft episode where the gang fights against a gross and powerful WoW veteran named Jenkins. Nandin's incredible commitment to the cosplay, which required him to shave his head and carry around a portable computer desk, made him an internet sensation. He continued to appear at a variety of gaming and comics conventions cosplaying as Jenkins. Nandin also used his platform to talk about inclusivity and body positivity, and he starred in Blizzard's own documentary to talk about the positive impact World of Warcraft has had on his life.

On Twitter, users have been paying tribute to Nandin by sharing pictures of themselves holding up USB sticks in reference to The Sword of a Thousand Truths—a joke from the South Park episode in which Jenkins is finally defeated by a mythological in-game sword found on a USB drive. The World of Warcraft Twitter account also paid respects to Nandin, and some players are calling on Blizzard to create an in-game tribute. Many notable WoW players, such as Byron 'Reckful' Bernstein, who died last year, have had NPCs named after them. 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.