Home Editorial When gaming heroes die: Requiescas in pace, SubtleArt

A great number of Top Tier Tactics readers only know this site exists because of my Spy lesson videos on YouTube, on which I frequently advertise my other creative ventures. From the very beginning of Team Fortress 2, I was enthralled with playing the Spy. There was so much intrigue, danger, and hilarity.

As you probably know, playing Spy isn’t easy, which might explain why there are so many Spy tutorial videos out there. We all have our espionage heroes, be they OMFGNinja, Evil Daedalus, stabby stabby, or whomever. I have a small contingent of subscribers myself. But before I was anyone’s Spy role model, SubtleArt was one of mine.

And for that reason, I was greatly saddened to learn that he passed away this February.

Gaming as a hobby is relatively new; even if someone was already 30 or so when gaming first became popular, it’s likely he or she would still be alive today. Thus, we don’t really expect to lose an icon very often. SubtleArt, also known as SubtieArt, Lt. Cyndi Lauper, and LouLou, can’t have been that old, but he inspired thousands of future backstabbers with videos that captured Team Fortress 2’s distinctive, chaotic moments with well-placed stabs, heart-pounding music, and helpful, easy-to-follow tips. His videos, even when they were montages, always involved the kind of context that help teach amateurs not only how to stab, but also how to get into position and how to make an effective escape.

Unfortunately, most of his Spy videos were deleted from YouTube at an earlier date, though his sister is currently updating his channel with some of her favorites from among his works. While I don’t know how he died or under what circumstances, I extend my condolences to his family, friends, and his many fans.

I can’t help but think about the likelihood any of us could meet such an untimely end. What will become of any of us when our fate is complete, and what will we leave behind as our legacy? While I’m glad to provide entertainment to those who’ll listen, I can’t say I’ve yet accomplished much, and I don’t know if some poorly-compiled videos and long-winded articles can ever be considered a contribution to the world in any meaningful way.

Did you follow SubtleArt? Do you have any favorite videos, stories, or experiences playing with him?

14 replies to this post
  1. SubtleArt was the first Truly Elite Spy I came across on YouTube. OMFG and Daedalus followed shortly after. He had an elegance to his work that neither of the others, and I think, none to this day have captured. The smoothness of his movements and his later soothing AudioSurf videos showed me both his laid back nature and his skill with a keyboard and mouse. When I read the bulletin, I was stunned. I could do nothing for a few moments, and when I collected myself, I could only remember those days at 17, stunned at this man’s finesse and class in something so trivial as a video game.

    I truly wish his sister and all his family the best, and I hope that, if we at T3 can remain true to our roots, SubtleArt will not be forgotten. So long as TF2 and Spying and good clean fun are something to be had, his will not fade like so many others.

  2. Although I’ve only been on the Team Fortress 2 scene since last year, I’ve had a wonderful time reading, listening, and sometimes tasting(?) the camaraderie, showmanship, and dedication that has been the TF2 community. A loss to this wonderful collection of people is indeed shattering, and I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to SubtleArt’s family, his friends, and all those who knew him personally.

    安息(Rest in peace)

  3. I subscribed to him to learn how to be better at Spy (as well as the others), but he definitely had his own unique way of using Spy. He was quick, he was skilled, and he was patient; something I still have trouble grasping. I hope to see the other videos he left behind to improve myself not just in the game, but overall in life as well.

    • It’s unfortunate, but true…

      To us, his legacy is a collection of electrons, sitting on a server, thousands of kilometres away, which gets taken down for scheduled maintenance, transferred between systems during upgrades, and sent to people all over the world.

      In fact, his legacy may live on forever, though the man himself is gone.

      A strange feeling indeed.

  4. I’m sorry, may he rest in peace. I didn’t know about his videos, I’m checking them now and they’re really good. I love his style.

    • He was a true master of misdirection. And this is what has me still laughing. http://www.youtube.com/user/SubtIeArt#p/u/28/JBa3E-wEk9E Beautiful. The whole teams is trying to track him down. Wish I could have threw a comment his way and let him know how much I enjoyed it. or hell maybe played a game with him. I think what his sister is doing is great. Thank you Wing for bringing this to our attention.

  5. I remember one particular match I actually considered rage quitting. His stabs were relentless and quick as you saw him he was gone. I wrote down his name for when I next found him on the battlefield, I hoped to have been a better player. Ser LouLou I bow to you.

  6. well I’m fairly new to the game.. I had read about Lt. Cyndi Lauper in comments who was supposedly legendary but i could only find a video or 2 because I guess they were taken down.. they were gameplay only but you could see just how amazing this guy was.. I haven’t seen anyone as good as him at misdirection.. really terrible for someone to go so young.. must be very hard for his family/friends.. he seemed like a big force in the tf2 community and one of the early spy masters.. good on you wing for sharing this.. I’m enjoying watching the re-uploaded videos..

  7. The very first time that I heard of SubtleArt was actually while reading this obituary. I went to check his channel out and was amazed: how could I have missed such a brilliant spy and a smooth narrator? I mean, there aren’t that many good spies on YouTube… Sure, I’ve watched tutorials by aforementioned masters, but SubtleArt’s thoughtful approach to spying looks much more spectacular to me, than, say, OMFGNinja’s acrobatics. I haven’t known SubtleArt as a person, but now at least I know him as a spy and a damn good one at that.

    P.S. WiNG, it’s “requiescas” in this case.

  8. He was nineteen days older than me and died one day before my 22nd birthday. How awful it must be for his family to lose such a young son.

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