Not only was the world famous Leeroy Jenkins video faked, but the creators of the video were very shocked that so many people thought it was real.
In fact, the man that recorded the original video said he was “Stupefied” that anybody even questioned whether it was real or fake. Let’s take a look at the story behind one of the biggest, and earliest memes of the internet.
The Leeroy Jenkins Meme Was Fake
When contacted via email by Kotaku, Ben Vinson, the man who recorded and created the Leeroy Jenkins video mentioned that they “Didn’t think anyone would believe it was real.” They mentioned that they “Thought it was so obviously satire.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the meme, let us give you a quick rundown:
In the video, a guild of players is gearing up to fight through the Rookery area in the Upper Blackrock Spire. Getting through this area required communication between players because if a player were to accidentally step on any dragon eggs in the area, dragons would spawn.
Ben Vinson explained it better,
“We had simply run that dungeon way too many times with pick up players who trampled over those eggs and caused wipes. We were like, ‘what if there was a guild who just couldn’t get past those eggs despite their best efforts?’ We imagined the designers at Blizzard sitting around scheming ‘they’ll never get past the eggs!!’ When literally all you had to do was not step on them. It was just mind boggling how incompetent people became in that room.”
The video starts with one player planning out a step-by-step strategy. Shortly after, Leeroy returns to his computer, completely missing the strategic talk. Leeroy proceeds to shout “LEEROY JEEEEENKINS” into his mic and then runs straight into the Rookery without his team mates.
The stupidity of Leeroy’s character helped the video to gain huge popularity. The video is now almost 13 years old, originally releasing on May 10, 2005.
It was the start of the internet sensation of viral videos, but looking back at it now, it was quite clear the video was created as a harmless joke, and the guild never meant to trick the viewers into thinking it was real.
From the start of the video, you can quite clearly tell the guild was just having a bit of fun. The person going over their strategy used over-the-top terms and said that their chance of success was 32.33 repeating. This isn’t somebody is ever actually going to say seriously before setting off into a raid, even if they were serious about creating a foolproof strategy.
The guild responsible for the video is called PALS FOR LIFE and according to Ben Vinson, they actually made plenty more funny videos similar to the Leeroy Jenkins one. None of their other videos really picked up any traction.
In comparison, the Leeroy Jenkins video went so viral that it literally blew up in popularity overnight. One of Vinson’s friends had the video hosted on a server in his home, but the huge influx of traffic to his video and his server lead his ISP sending him a letter to cut down his usage.
“Our friend had a nasty email from his ISP about having to shut down his server due to too much bandwidth usage, and at that point the video was already everywhere, it was out of our hands.”
Over the holiday break, the guys behind the original video wanted to showcase the internet the original cut. Yep, that’s right – the thing was so scripted that they even did multiple takes.
This video was actually re-released as an effort to support net neutrality. Most of the proceeds that the published video above will make from ad revenue will be sent to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Leeroy Jenkins Is An Icon
Leeroy Jenkins has gone down in history as an icon and absolute legend. Blizzard has made a few nods to his character over the years, even including references to him in some of their games.
The first time Blizzard turned Leeroy Jenkins into a real piece of the World of Warcraft lore was when they added an achievement to World of Warcraft. Players can now earn the “Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!” achievement by killing 50 rookery whelps within 15 seconds.
There are a few other references to Leeroy in World of Warcraft as well. Leeroy Jenkins also got his name out there in the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Leeroy Jenkins was a human paladin card in the Heroes of Azeroth card expansion. He was card 198.
Later, Leeroy Jenkins was also released as a trading card in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. In Hearthstone, Leeroy is a legendary card which costs 5 mana. He has charge, 6 attack, and 2 health.
He also has a Battlecry that spawns two 1/1 Whelps for the opponent. This essentially gives the opponent the ability to kill Leeroy on their next turn. The owner of the Leeroy Jenkins card can still deal out 5 damage before this happens.
Despite the Leeroy Jenkins card being created to be as true to the meme as possible, it still works surprisingly well in a number of strategies. Many players use his high damage and charge ability as a method to finish off enemies. Some buffs can be used to further the damage of Leeroy Jenkins and even increase his health so that he has a chance to survive through to the end of the opponent’s next turn.
That just about sums up our look at the Leeroy Jenkins meme and Leeroy Jenkins as a character in the World of Warcraft and Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft universe. We hope you enjoyed the read.
The original cut was slightly different to the version we all know, but there were some differences. You can see the new video below.