In Memoriam

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I offer my condolences to the entire doubles community

i never met benja, but from what i've read and what i've heard from the Doubles room on PS, he seemed like one of the more genuine people on this site and i can't even begin to imagine what the majority of the Doubles community is feeling right now.

It has been an extremely rough month for all of Smogon and I echo what GlassGlaceon said: Memes and talking shit all may seem funny in the moment, but you have to realize that there are real people being affected here. We're all trying to improve and make a name for ourselves on this site, but you have to know when you've stepped over a line. If the past month with Haunter and Bri has taught us anything it's that there are real repercussions for what we say and do on this site.

If anyone out there is feeling harassed/unsafe as well as alone or doesn't see a way out, talk to someone about it. Even though smogon may seem like a shitty cancerous community at first, there are genuine people that can help you and will want to be friends with you. Suicide is never the only option.

Again my condolences to everyone who knew Benja and the entire doubles community and i hope that Smogon can come together as a whole to help everyone effected through this.


Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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I did not know Benja well, so I cannot speak much to him other than ask others to be respectful of what has transpired.

As someone who struggled mightily with depression for a few years, I know all too well the pain and even moreso the perpetual whole-body numbness he must have been feeling, even if I didn't know he was feeling it at the time. I wish I knew. I think we all do.

To anyone else struggling, please don't have false illusions that one day everything will be sunshine and roses. Depression is not sadness and the opposite of it is not happiness. Depression is a state of near-paralysis, and, while there is no foolproof solution, you can aid your battle against it by setting reachable goals for yourself, starting small (very small) and growing larger as you regain energy and self-confidence. Still, there are always recurring moments where you wonder if anyone would really miss you if you disappeared and if it's all worth it. This is normal and you cannot be defeated by these moments. I have had these moments years after considering myself "better," whatever that means. You just have to live day by day and I can promise that, even when those depressed feelings bubble up momentarily, it really is getting better and will continue to get better.

In the meantime, please reach out to someone and talk. People always say to talk to a friend, but I know how hard that can be. If you can't convince yourself to talk to a friend, family member, doctor, religious leader, teacher, etc., at the very least please call your local hotline for help. In the US that's 1-800-273-8255.
Benja was a great friend, a passionate competitor, and someone that really put his heart into what he wanted to accomplish, whether it was pokemon or his music. Benja really was a great kid, and while he didn't get along with everyone during his time here, he would always be the first person to make you laugh if you'd been having a rough time. His CSGO vidoes especially were hilarious, here is my favourite. I'm going to miss the guy who I know could test teams with me for upcoming/ongoing tournaments, I'm going to miss the guy who supported me, I'm going to miss the kid who could make me laugh if I was frustrated with the game, with another person, or with anything, and I'm going to miss my friend.

I'm not sure if it's my place, but I'd also like to personally thank everyone who has been stopping by the doubles chatroom to express their condolences, especially those who didn't know Benja personally. Your support means a lot to myself and others who were friends with him, and the community as a whole.


free palestine
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I was just skimming through the Doubles OU forum (Why is another question) and I saw this. At first I thought he just left smogon, but then I finished reading the OP. I didn't even know Benja that well (and I wish I'd gotten to know him better; he was a cool person from what I heard.), and I'm still shaking from sadness. I recently overcame a death of a close friend of mine. I was really sad, as I knew them since third grade. This alone is making me feel almost as sad as I was when my friend died. Again, I didn't know Benja well, and I wish I'd gotten to get to know him better.

DOU community and Benja's friends/relatives, I am sorry for your loss. My sincerest condolences.
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The Lost Age
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Benja was one of the most welcoming presences in DOU back when I played in beginning of Gen 6. He was probably one of my best tutors / confidantes when it came to Doubles and I am sad to see someone so lively and a great chat presence had what I assume is horrible troubles in real life.

To Benja's family, I am very sorry for your loss and to Benja, may you rest in peace my man. You were a great guy and I am hoping you are happy wherever you are.


is a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnus
When I first joined the Doubles community, way back when, Benja was also a newer user. This was long before the "Victorious B.I.G" thing. We shared some good times pissing off Audiosurfer, shitting up the chat and launching personal attacks on Dashspin. All of a sudden, I've got shivers, sitting on my bed here. I feel like I want to cry, not because I was particularly fond of Benja, but because he felt he had to take his life. For a person to be reduced to such a shell where they feel as though they don't deserve to live anymore is a tragedy beyond most. I hope that everyone reading this knows that, as cheesy as it sounds, there is always someone, somewhere who cares.

As echoed by everyone else, please, reach out. Nobody is without anyone else, a fact too tragic many don't know. You are worth so much more than you think, whatever anyone has told you. I may not be the most approachable person, but please, talk to me, or anyone else. Just talk to us. Even if you have absolutely no clue who the fuck I am, I'll be there for you, because I know how you feel, and I know how dark a place it feels like you're in, but you can absolutely crawl out.

What a waste of a creative, free, hilarious and friendly soul. Rest in peace, my friend.
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not quite too old for this, apparently
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I didn't know benja but I offer my sincere condolences to all of his family and friends. Suicide is no laughing matter.

I don't want to make this about me, but having dealt with severe depression fairly recently, I know what it feels like. I want all users to know that if you feel like life is hopeless, if you feel like suicide is an option, please fucking TELL SOMEBODY. It is NEVER the answer. You can come to me personally or another member of senior staff if you don't feel like you have anyone else to talk to; I won't judge or reveal anything.

I sincerely hope I never have to see a tragedy like this again in our community. Again, my heart goes out to all who are affected.

edit: thank you for your likes but please, instead of doing that, spread this around. senior staff is working on a more permanent system for helping users in serious need, but until then i will personally take on any and all issues.


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"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good." ~ W.H. Auden

Benja was truly one of the most kind-hearted people I have ever known, someone who reserved all judgements of others and always knew how to make me laugh when I was feeling down. From the tone of his voice in our many Skype calls, I thought I could tell he was almost always smiling, but maybe I was only hearing what I wanted to. He never really shared much about his real life problems, and was always there to help me through the superficial problems I had, even though they clearly paled in comparison to his. He was a true altruist. I remember the conversations we had about music, where others would judge and insult my taste, Benja would instead respect my opinion, which is something so obscenely rare in our current society, particularly over the internet. I just wish that I could have been there for him more.

Benja was a great musician, one with a bright career ahead of him, he already had a piece of art to his name (his mix tape, Honor Roll). That is far more than I have ever accomplished, despite being older than him. A musician is such a beautiful and pure thing to choose as a career, spending your time pouring your heart and soul into art, in the hopes that it will one day touch the hearts of others, as after all, "a painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence" ~ Leopold Stokowski.

I know it may be difficult for many of us here to grasp the fact that the lines of text on our computer screens are coming from real people with real problems, but they are. We need to be more careful of the things we say on the internet, and remember to check in with our friends every now and then, asking if they are legitimately OK, and offering to help out. Joking around with them is always fun, but that is not what friendship is truly about.

My heart, although tiny in comparison to Benja's, goes out to his friends, family, and the many, many others he brought happiness to in his short life.

I have spent the last three tear-filled hours attempting to find the right words to express my gratitude for having the privilege of being Benja's friend, but I guess I'm just not like him, I can't come up with the exact thing to say immediately, but I will say this: Benja, you are the most wonderful friend anyone could ever ask for. I hope, wherever you are now, you're in a better place. I hope you enjoy being away from this cruel world. I hope you meet people up there as kind-hearted and altruistic as you. I hope you are truly happy. I hope. Because that is the best thing I can do for you now.
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Long Live Super Mario Maker! 2015-2024
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This is tragic beyond words. I didn't personally know benja, but just reading this thread has reduced me to tears. What a horrible blow to the community, this is a great loss.

My little brother has severe depression, and once attempted to commit suicide. I know from personal experience that clinical depression is NO laughing matter. You can't just "get over" your sadness, no matter how "great" your life is. It's like your mind gets hijacked, and you are completely unable to feel joy in life. Its almost like this horrible mental paralysis, where you even if you don't "want" to die, you feel compelled to take your own life anyways.

Please, if anyone here EVER feels like they are going to kill themselves, or if a friend on Smogon tells you they are going to kill themselves, I beg you, DO NOT TAKE IT AS A JOKE! Find someone to talk to, use or give out a suicide hotline number, or even resort to calling an emergency number like 911 if needed. Even talking to a well known, kind user on IRC can help. I've talked to users about depression before, both for my sake and theirs, and while of course just talking isn't going to "defeat" depression, anything that prevents a suicide helps.

Also, seek any help you can possibly get, wether that be seeing a psychologist or even admitting yourself to the emergency room. There is no shame in getting medical help for mental illness, especially one as insidious and deadly as clinical depression.

Sorry if this seems like a bit of a derail, admitly depression hits me a bit personally, and seeing a beloved Smogon user succumb to such an awful disease is heart breaking.

Rest in Peace Benja. I hope you no longer feel any more pain, and that your friends and family can find the support they need.
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I skipped work and did nothing for half of school today because of this.
I've often wondered how I would feel if a good friend I know online died. I thought I'd be extremely sad, but wouldn't cry too hard. Boy was I wrong. Benja wasn't one of my closest friends, but I would definitely still consider him a good friend who was always incredibly real. He was a great guy, even if he did manage to piss off a lot of people, and he was an awesome presence in our skype calls when he joined. When I heard the news, I went to a quiet room and cried for half an hour straight. This is a terrible thing, and fuck zorbees.
I didn't know benja but I offer my sincere condolences to all of his family and friends. Suicide is no laughing matter.

I don't want to make this about me, but having dealt with severe depression fairly recently, I know what it feels like. I want all users to know that if you feel like life is hopeless, if you feel like suicide is an option, please fucking TELL SOMEBODY. It is NEVER the answer. You can come to me personally or another member of senior staff if you don't feel like you have anyone else to talk to; I won't judge or reveal anything.

I sincerely hope I never have to see a tragedy like this again in our community. Again, my heart goes out to all who are affected.

edit: thank you for your likes but please, instead of doing that, spread this around. senior staff is working on a more permanent system for helping users in serious need, but until then i will personally take on any and all issues.
I also can't reinforce this enough. PLEASE do this people. Find a close friend or, as tennis suggests, a member of senior staff to talk to, to avoid this outcome.

Rest In Peace, hope you're happier in your next life.

edit: also his mixtape is legitimately good, give it a listen
As the Pokemon playing community skews toward teenage and young adult males, I'd like to remind everyone that if you are ever feeling anything resembling what this member felt there are resources out there to help. Not only are there professional organizations that will always lend an ear, but this community itself has many members present that will sit down on IRC or Skype or whatever and be there for you.

I do not want to moralize a tragedy, however would like to remind those that may perhaps feel this way that it is can pass, can be made better, and is a sickness. Don't be afraid of speaking out, don't be ashamed at all. Like I said earlier, especially for men in the age range that is most represented on this site, biologically you are prone to develop these sorts of sicknesses around this time. But it is exactly that, sickness, and can be helped.

That said, my condolences go out to the family of this young man and all effected by this tragedy. Losing someone at that age is always unbelievable, and may seem foreign to those of us who have not suffered from such unfortunate turns of fate. I hope only that he is now free from whatever made him feel such despair in the first place, and that he rests easy.
I don't really play much anymore, but when I did, Benja was always there to hang out with.
Benja is the type of guy that would call you shit and then proceed to teach you how to teambuild. I remember he once told me (while building a serperior team) that he loved helping others improve, which left such an impression on me from someone who seemed to have such a hard exterior.

As I got to know Benja, I challenged him to a rap battle, where he proceeded to hand my ass to me. He was incredibly talented at anything he put his mind to, whether it be mons, rap, viola, or just helping others improve at mons.

Benja was a brilliant battler, a tortured genius, but mostly a great friend. I will never forget him as long as Pokemon and doubles exists.

ryo yamada2001

ryo yamada2001
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i didn't know benja well unlike many others of you, but when i talked to him he seemed like a nice guy that had no problems. at least none of which i knew of. he introduced me to his youtube channel where i had much fun watching his videos, and i can remember how awesome it was when he released a whole damn mixtape. even though i didn't know him well, i noticed his inactivity on pokémon showdown, and i wanted to send him a message on skype to check on him. i thought that he might've been busy anyways. maybe it was best i didn't send him a message, but idk
i'm still in shock and disbelief about this, and it was even more sad that benja took his own life away, while it might've been so bright..

even though everybody above me already said it; can't stress enough how important talking about your feelings, and if you're feeling depressed, talk to someone about it please, we might be able to help you

this is horrible and shock for the doubles community, as there were many friends here close to benja.
my prayers go out to his family, friends, and whoever else affected by his death
nobody has to go like this, suicide is never the answer

rest in peace benja
I may have not of known Benja, or even heard of him before now. But seeing the impact it has left many people here convince that he was a great friend.

It took me a bit to work up the courage to post here, since I felt not knowing him, it wouldn't be right for me to share my grieves. I don't necessarily feel pain from learning of his passing, since I didn't have the pleasure of knowing him, but it still saddens me that a man that made so many other peoples' lives and experiences here on Smogon better has passed.

I can only wish the best for his family, his friends, and everyone here that was affected by this tragic loss.


when you see a good meme
I'll never forget the day that Benja first talked to me in the Doubles room on PS. He was the person who introduced me to this community and I may not even be lurking on Smogon and/or playing this tier if it wasn't for him. I'll never forgot all the fun conversations we had over PS and Skype. It's a huge tragedy to lose such a funny, friendly, welcoming and all around cool guy in this sort of way. My condolences go out to all his loved ones as they must be going through an extremely tough time right now.

In all honesty I'm shattered right now. The words I have written here don't even start to describe how I feel. May you always be remembered Benja. I will keep you, and your loved ones in my prayers, and I will remember you. I hope that the suffering you have endured has been put to rest, and that you meet people who make you feel happy, joyful and welcome, all the qualities you've shown to many people on the other side. Rest in Peace fren, you will be dearly missed.

I'd also just like to ghost what many others here have stated. If you are feeling down, depressed, or feel as if there just isn't a point anymore, please do not be afraid to talk to someone about it. There are many people in this world who will help you get through these tough times that you may come face to face with in life. I'd also like to tell everyone here that no matter how helpless you may feel, there are people who will always love you, help you, and support you. Mental Illness is something that takes many lives, and is something that people should be informed about. Lastly, I know that Benja had many more closer friends on this forum than me, so my thoughts go out to you, I hope you are all ok and not too shattered, just as I am. My prayers also go out to you.

Once again, Rest in Peace Benja, you will be dearly missed. :[


Skadi :)
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As someone who's known benja ever since he started playing smogdubs, I'm truly saddened by our loss. I would like to think that he was one of the few that I could say I'm close to in this community, since whether it be teambuilding/testing random shit, or talking about my life problems, or just joking around, benja was always there and willing to help despite his own personal suffering. Honestly I'm at a loss for words and I'd like to put more but I really don't know what to say but I can say that you will be missed benja.

On another note, despite how smogon might have a shitty playerbase at times, it's times like these that makes me truly glad to be a part of this community since whether it's in real life or online, your friends will still be there for you and despite how many of the posters here might not know benja and might not even like smogdubs. there are still many that still came to pay their respects which is truly touching.

Good luck friend, you will be missed.


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Even if you feel as though the people on this site can't directly help you, talking about the things that are bothering you or causing you legitimate distress helps. Getting it out there instead of bottling it up makes a world of difference. I'm happy to say that I have really great friends on this site and in my personal life who I know I can talk to if things are bringing me down, and I hope you all do as well. I feel like a lot of us have been there before and understand feeling alone, even if you aren't really alone. It can be really fucking difficult to open up, but it's worth it.

If you don't feel like there's someone you can trust to hear you out and be there when you need someone to talk to, don't hesitate to contact me. I hope that extends to most of our community. I know all too well the feeling of losing someone close to you, especially to unfortunate but preventable circumstances, and if there's anything I can do to keep that from happening, I'm happy to do it.

I also didn't know Benja, but it still hurts a lot to know that he left the world in this way. My thoughts are with his friends and family.


is a Past SPL Champion
I don't really know where to begin here. My first reaction was "wow, what drove him to do this?" and the more I thought about it the more it kind of clicked...and it's really a shame it did. There's nothing directly good about losing someone like this, there really isn't. It really hurts seeing someone end up reaching this conclusion who constantly PMd me asking me how I was doing, how SPL was going, and someone that talked to me during some tough times without ever getting anything in return go without being able to return the favor. I don't think his actions always reflected the side of him I just spoke of, but I think the less desirable ones were tied into and influenced by the struggle that caused him to take his life. It's really sad, I truly think he was a good person who ended up making a fateful decision on a confusing situation, one likely exacerbated by having nowhere or no one in particular to go to about it. I obviously don't understand what all was going on, but after piecing what I do know of together it's probably even sadder than it appears at first glance. There were times where I could have simply just conversed with him as he genuinely wanted someone to talk with and was genuinely interested in other people. Maybe all he needed was someone to be there for him as well and this would have never happened.

I'm not saying this to lament on my own feelings, but rather to shed some light on the people out there who sometimes just need a little help in return. Ask someone how they're doing and give them room to expand. Create an environment in which people are welcome and comfortable explaining their uncomfortable situations and give them reassurance that you're going to be around for them. I think I personally had the opportunity to with Benja and I'm probably not the only one. It's something that in hindsight you regret and at the time didn't and it makes sense as to why you wouldn't expect much, but there's always going to be some lasting guilt that some of us will have because of it, justified or not. The best we can do is to learn and be more cognizant of things like this in the future. I'm sure that if anything, that's what we can do to make the best out of the situation and honor him.

Rest in piece, Benja. My heart hurts for you and anyone who's mourning for you.


Pixels matter
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I don't really know what to say here... he was a really good guy, he is going to be sorely missed. It's very saddening that a great person with friends has to end up so soon, please do seek for help as tennisace and others said above if you're feeling so depressed, there are people out there able to help you :(


Fully Automated Gay Space Communism
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I didn't know Benja, and I was just getting started with Doubles OU and Smogon in general, but I just wanted to stop by and say how much this thread has meant to me. This past year I've been severely depressed, almost to the point of suicide. I can still remember vividly when I almost decided to drive off the road into a river on the way home and end it all abruptly. I pulled over to think it over and for some last words and messages and saw a message from a friend just asking how I was doing. It meant the world to me and is the reason I'm sitting here typing this out right now.

Please, never let anyone feel as if they're worthless, and let them know the differences they've made in your life. Be friendly to those you meet and welcome them with open arms. It seems Benja was a great person who did all of this, but had his own shortcomings that drove him to make this decision. I was almost there myself, and I broke down a bit reading this and just realizing that people do care, even if they don't always let you know directly. Thank you to you all, and may Benja rest in peace, I wish I had the chance to know him and maybe make a difference in his all too short life.
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