SMITE caster and community staple John ‘Finch’ Finch has passed away at the age of 28.
On May 25, Stewart Chisam, CEO of Hi-Rez Studios, shared with the SMITE community that popular caster John ‘Finch’ Finch had passed away on Thursday, May 20.
In the announcement, Chisam confirmed that Hi-Rez had no further details to share regarding Finch’s passing, but asked the community to give his family time and space to process their loss.
He also promised that the SMITE community and Hi-Rez itself would “find a meaningful way to honor his legacy and contribution.”
— Stewart Chisam (@schisam) May 23, 2021
Finch became a staple of the pro community after storming onto ‘The Caster’, a SMITE casting competition held by Hi-Rez in 2017. After putting on strong performances throughout the competition, Finch was later offered a casting job by Hi-Rez, which he held until his passing.
SMITE community pays tribute to Finch
The SMITE community came out in droves to express their condolences and mourn the loss of Finch, who many in the game’s community regarded as an irreplaceable staple of the pro casting team.
‘SMITEPro’, the game’s official esports Twitter account, posted a short video confirming the news and offering their sympathies to Finch’s loved ones: “From everyone at Hi-Rez, all the casters, the production team, and everyone, all our thoughts are with John Finch’s family and his significant loved ones.”
Our esports family is deeply saddened to share this news with all of you.
John Finch was one of the best among us. He will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/MOaSlJHUHL
— SmitePro (@SmitePro) May 23, 2021
In addition to Hi-Rez employees, dozens upon dozens of Finch’s fellow casters, professional SMITE players, and other community members shared their own tributes across social media.
Kelly Link, a fellow esports host and analyst, praised Finch as “an incredibly bright and caring person that would light up any conversation,” and offered her own condolences on his passing: “He will be incredibly missed.”
This is so heartbreaking… John Finch was an incredibly bright and caring person that would light up any conversation. He will be incredibly missed, rest in peace.
— Kelly Link (@HelloKellyLink) May 23, 2021
Professional esports organization eUnited offered their condolences as well, and lamented the loss of such an incredible casting talent: “We’ve lost a great one.”
Deepest condolences to Finch’s family and the SMITE community. We’ve lost a great one.
— eUnited (@eUnited) May 23, 2021
Retired pro player Emil ‘EmilZy’ Nielsen was one of many who recalled the caster’s incredible personality: “Finch was always the guy you could count on smiling and laughing. He made the world a better place for each one of those smiles or laughs. Genuinely an amazing human being.”
Finch was always the guy you could count on smiling and laughing. He made the world a better place for each one of those smiles or laughs. Genuinely an amazing human being. Thoughts are with his family. Rest in peace ❤️
— EmilZy (@EmilZySmite) May 23, 2021
As Hi-Rez’s Chisam noted, the SMITE developer plans to work with the game’s community to honor Finch’s legacy and pay tribute to the beloved caster. While the studio has halted SMITE esports activities until further notice, fans can expect additional updates on Finch’s tribute in the coming days.