SMITE Pro League Caster Finch Passes Away
John Finch, also known as the SMITE Caster “Finch” and also known as “YoungLink” has sadly passed away at the age of 28. This news was broke by the CEO of Hi-Rez Studios, sharing that the SMITE caster Finch passed away on May 20th. There is no word on exactly what happened to Finch, but the company has asked to give his loved ones time to process the tragedy that has befallen them. A man beloved by the entire community, the caster of SMITE Pro League matches Finch had nothing but positivity surrounding him. He brought a unique charm and positivity that could not be matched by anyone.
Gone But Never Forgotten:
John Finch will be missed by all. Those who were fortunate enough to hear him cast or simply talk about things he enjoyed will know that he was genuine and sincere about all things. He first showed up on the SMITE scene as a part of “The Caster”, a reality show trying to find the next big SMITE commentator. When I first saw Finch on The Caster, I knew he was the real deal. He had incredible insight, was clever, funny, and exuded personality. Stewart Chisam had this to say in his address about the unfortunate passing:
“After the show finished, we offered him a position on our esports staff where he instantly became beloved by our gaming community and staff. In honor of John and out of respect for our esports family, note that planned SMITE Pro League and SMITE Challenger Circuit matches for this week have been postponed. We will communicate news at a later time in regards to when and how we will reboot the SPL season. This is a huge loss for our esports family.”
Stew isn’t wrong either. From pros to viewers, everyone has gone out of their way to show their love and respect for Finch in the wake of his passing. Ryan “Aggro” Bailey worked with Finch often as a caster team for SMITE and left a lengthy, touching message. Graham “Hinduman” Hadfield posted the video announcement to the official SMITE Pro Twitter and barely kept it together throughout. Professional SMITE player Venenu left a heartfelt message as well:
“Honestly one of the nicest people I have ever been able to talk to. Always supported everyone around him and always had a smile on his face. Will miss you a lot…RIP.”
From former employees to retired SMITE Pro players, nobody has had an ill word to say about the SMITE caster we came to know as Finch. Emil “EmilZy” Nielsen spoke kindly about Finch in a recent tweet:
“Heartbreaking news. 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. <3”
Personally, I’ve only had a few interactions with Finch in the SMITE community. No matter if it was just as a fan of the game, or someone who wrote about SMITE for a living, he was always 100% himself. I could count on Finch’s content to make me laugh even on the worst days. In my early days as a games journalist and streamer, I was incredibly nervous. But seeing someone like Finch show up and chat, even if briefly, he made me believe I could do anything. Even if he didn’t know it, he inspired me and many others to work hard, to do our best.
In his wake, he left numerous people who loved and respected him. Stewart Chisam has also gone on record to say that they will find a way to honor the legacy of Finch, and it’s sure to be wonderful. Finch worked brilliantly with everyone, and always had a clever joke or gag to drop. He knew the game inside and out, and will surely be missed by his loved ones, and everyone who took the time to stop in on a stream where he was casting. Thank you, John Finch, for everything you did. We’ll never forget you. He left an indelible mark on everyone he met and interacted with. I will personally be forever grateful for all the work he did and the kindness he brought to the lives of others.