Jarod Nandin, a beloved cosplayer known around the world as "The South Park Guy" has sadly died after contracting coronavirus.
He first revealed to friends and family on Twitter on December 28th that he'd tested positive for the virus, passing away just a few days later.
Nandin rose to prominence among the World Of Warcraft community at BlizzCon 2013, when he arrived with one of the most hilarious cosplays I think any of us have ever seen. Sat at a desk next to a gaming PC and surrounded by cans of energy drink and sweets, Nandin perfectly portrayed Jenkins, the aggressive gamer for South Park's iconic World Of Warcraft episode.
Arriving at BlizzCon in cosplay and maintaining his character throughout, Nandin quickly became known as 'South Park Guy'. He even went so far as to shave his his head to better resemble the character.
The Blizzcon Cosplay community lost a friend to Covid today. Jarod Nandin was best known for his cosplay of The Warcraft South Park Guy but he was also an advocate for cosplay positivity and encouraged people to cosplay whatever they want. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/kDxcL8darY- :star2:Little Sparkz:star2: (@LittleSparkzLFG) January 3, 2021
In an interview with LA Weekly back in 2014, Nandin said he never expected the reaction he got to his cosplay. He explained that he thought if he took the character and "made him human", it would "just be hilarious". What Nandin wasn't prepared for was the reaction from other would-be cosplayers who had previously thought they couldn't get involved because of their weight.
"This kind of gave them the courage or the understanding that it was okay for them, that there were possibilities. It blew me away," he said. He only had a few words for the people who would sent him hate online, telling them only that they were wasting their lives by being vicious.
Tributes for Nandin have flooded in since the news of his passing broke, with those that met him remembering him as a "wonderful soul" that touched many lives.
One user wrote: "I hope when you look up Jarod, and see how special he his, how many lives he touched, how kind and wonderful a soul he was, you mourn him with us. I also hope this reminds you that people can be taken from us LIKE THAT, and to be mindful that you can do your part by STAYING HOME."
Another said: "The Blizzcon Cosplay community lost a friend to COVID today. Jarod Nandin was best known for his cosplay of The Warcraft South Park Guy but he was also an advocate for cosplay positivity and encouraged people to cosplay whatever they want. He will be missed."
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