Technoblade, a wildly popular Minecraft creator on YouTube with over 11 million subscribers, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 23.

Technoblade’s family confirmed his death in a video shared on his YouTube page. In the clip, his father read a message Technoblade wrote before his death, in which the creator finally revealed his real first name, Alex — a long-kept secret amidst his massive popularity. 

In the letter, Alex thanked fans for all their support, especially for purchasing various memberships and merch over the past year, even if it seemed like he was selling out. He noted that the money from all that would be used to help send his siblings to college — “Well, if they want to,” he quipped. “I don’t want to put any dead brother peer pressure on them.”

He added: “If I had another 100 lives, I think I would choose to be Technoblade again every single time because those were the happiest years of my life. I hope you guys enjoyed my content, and that I made some of you laugh. And I hope you all go on to live long, prosperous, and happy lives, because I love you guys.”

Alex began uploading Minecraft videos to YouTube in 2013 and spent several years growing a dedicated audience. His profile exploded, however, around 2019 when he won several installments of “Minecraft Monday,” a weekly tournament hosted by the popular YouTuber Keemstar. Widely known for his avatar of a pig wearing a crown, Technoblade’s videos frequently garnered tens of millions of views throughout the final years of his life. 

A statement from Alex’s family at the end of the video read, “From Technoblade’s earliest online days, he was always strategizing ways to delight and reward his audience. Even after his eventual successes he somehow managed to keep his good-natured humility, competing with an endearing balance between his confidence and self-deprecating wit. He avoided personal fame and worked hard to keep his true identity confidential, and we ask you to honor his wishes to protect his privacy and the privacy of his family.”

Alex revealed his cancer diagnosis in Aug. 2021. At the time, he said he’d been experiencing pain in his right arm, which he just assumed was from a stress injury tied to gaming. It was after his shoulder started swelling that he went to a hospital and was diagnosed with cancer. 

In their statement, Alex’s family added, “This past year has had a lot of rough spots for our son as he battled stage four cancer. But he didn’t complain and kept using his famous strategic mind to try to beat what he knew were almost impossible odds. My son’s bravery on this path was a shining lesson to all of us who were privileged to walk it with him. Thank you for sharing his journey through it all, as he did the work he loved for his beloved fans.”