10 years ago today, the legend of Leeroy Jenkins was born
Ten years ago today, one brave/absent-minded player named Leeroy Jenkins put down his chicken and stepped into history.
On May 11, 2005, a group of gamers assembled to complete a difficult and dangerous quest in World of Warcraft. The raiding party met outside an enemy infested area and took inventory. They discussed plans, and decided to take the risk – and they did so partly for the benefit of one lower level character by the name of Leeroy Jenkins.
You’ve may have seen the results at this point, and if not, you’ve almost certainly heard someone shout one of the lines that became iconic thanks to the video. The battlecry “Leeeeeeeeeerrrrrooooooooy Jenkins” may outlive us all. So too might the ultimate comeback, “At least I have chicken.”
Words of wisdom, forever etched into the hollowed website of YouTube.
If you don’t know the story, it goes a little something like this.
Leeroy and his companions prepared to assault an area filled with high level enemies. They planned to do so while Leeroy was away from his keyboard. The stat geeks began to crunch the numbers with the intensity of a NASA scientist plotting out the moon landing. Strategies are discussed, assignments are handed out, and then Leeroy burst into legend.
While the others carefully plotted out their next move, Leeroy returned to the game and let loose the thunderous battlecry “Leeeeeeeeeerrrrrooooooooy Jenkins,” before running headfirst into the fray.
He and his teammates were promptly slaughtered, and it was entirely his fault.
Even as his meticulous cohorts cursed the name of Leeroy Jenkins, the insults dribbled off his now dead character’s back. He then perfectly summed up his feelings in an elegant and esoteric response, shouting simply “At least I have chicken.”
The rest is history.
The video was shot exactly 10 years ago today, on May 11, 2005. It then made the rounds on various World of Warcraft forums, before being posted on YouTube in 2006. It has been viewed over 46 million times since then.
There are rumors and stories that the whole thing was staged. That’s always possible, of course, but the video has taken on a life of its own.
To some, Leeroy is a hero. He’s not down with over thinking things, he rushes in and attacks, screaming the whole way. It’s a video game, not a video math session. Huzzah, and mission accomplished.
To others, Leeroy is an idiot that just ruined an evening of gaming for several others because he wasn’t paying attention. Take your pick.
Check out a higher quality version of the original, and celebrate a decade of Leeroy Jenkins.