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The French Overwatch Community Loses Their Biggest Fan

Team France Sky

The French Overwatch community has lost one of its biggest fans with the recent passing of Jules “Sky” Blanchot. Sky was only 14 years old and had been fighting a long and arduous battle with leukemia. The young fan was very enthusiastic about Team France and many Overwatch League teams. In his final days, he was showered with respect and admiration from the community he loved so much.

Rallying Together

Sky’s declining health was brought to the public eye following a tweet from Team France’s Twitter last week, on November 13. The tweet simply asked for the community to band together and to “BOMBARD his account with love and support!” Both the French and international communities rallied together and within a day the tweets had garnered over 2000 likes, 300 retweets and about 200 comments.

At the behest of Team France Community Manager, Mathias “Troma” Szanto, Sky’s father Gilles created a Twitter account for Sky, so that he could receive the well wishes. The new account was instantaneously followed by some of Sky’s biggest idols, as they gave him words of encouragement. Many other OWWC teams, from neighboring Spain to distant Australia, shared tweets and included their own words of support. Sky responded to the initial tweet, expressing how heartwarming and moving it was to see the community’s reaction. In his thanks, he also selflessly congratulated Team France on their OWWC performance. 

A Few Good Days

team france sky
Photo Courtesy of Team France. Art by Berunov.

As news about Sky’s condition spread, several people asked if they could send him anything to boost his spirits. One such request came from ACE Esport, a jersey and clothing manufacturer for many French esports teams. They asked if Sky could message them privately, as they wanted to send him a “package full of style and love”. In addition, Troma and Team France General Manager, Laurent “DeGun” Prinderre, sent a box full of goodies, including both OWWC and OWL jerseys and Overwatch Funko POP figurines. 

Unfortunately, it was announced on November 20, just a day after he received the gifts from the French community, that he had passed away. Before his passing, Sky was not only able to discuss the game he was most passionate about with his heroes, but also had the chance to play alongside them. Within the past week both Troma and Sébastien “AlphaCast” Ferezis, a French streamer and highly renowned member of the community, invited Sky to join their matches while streaming. During one such match, he even was able to play his main hero, Reinhardt, and be the shield for those he aspired to be most like. After the experience, he again expressed his gratitude towards them and the community on Twitter.

Heroes Never Die

As Mercy would say, “Heroes never die”, and Troma hopes with a modest call to action, he can ensure that for Sky’s legacy. Early on Thursday, he took to his personal account to ask the community for their support once more. He stated when Sky’s father had first contacted him, he knew that a few simple direct messages wouldn’t do. He wanted to go above and beyond for France’s superfan and that’s when he decided to ask the community for their support. Following Sky’s premature passing, Troma is asking the community to rally once again and for Blizzard to include a portrait of Sky on the Paris map. 

Within hours of posting the tweet, it has received close to 3000 likes, over 900 retweets, and about 100 comments. Users started using the hashtag “#julesonparis” accompanying the tweet to try to gain traction and it appears to be working. Sky’s passing has already made the frontpage on the Overwatch subreddit, and a Community Development Lead for Overwatch responded on Twitter that their team is well aware about the request. 

Whether the heartfelt request will be answered or not is unforeseen at this time. But for Troma, he says it is at least worth a shot. If one thing is for certain, it’s that Sky brightened the day of many and his fighting spirit lives on. Many are hoping that Blizzard will answer the call and give this humble lasting tribute to the young hero. According to his Twitter, he was most looking forward to meeting everyone at the Paris Homestand in May.

 

Follow Mandii on Twitter: @CapnOA . Feel free to contact them regarding anything they write on Discord @ Mand0lyn#1588!

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