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Atlantic Documentaries

The Tragic Death of a Secret Gamer

Jun 19, 2019 | 90 videos
Video by The Atlantic

To his mother, David Hance was a shy, nerdy Puerto Rican kid from the Bronx who had an unhealthy obsession with video games. To everyone else, he was Allied—a world-class esports champion, whose boisterous live-streams garnered thousands of views. For years, Hance navigated these disparate identities with ease. But then, at age 24, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.


In a new documentary from The Atlantic, Hance’s family undergoes the emotional process of reconciling the David they knew with his secret identity—a professional gamer and tragic hero, beloved by a large online community.


“[Family is] the people you choose,” says Brandon Nance, David’s closest friend and a fellow Smite player. “Allied chose us. And we chose Allied.”

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Author: Salima Koroma

About This Series

Original short documentaries produced by The Atlantic