Etika (May 12th, 1990 – c. June 19th, 2019) was a YouTuber and Smash 4 Robin player from Brooklyn, New York, though he was best known for his YouTube videos and Twitch streams, particularly his highly energetic reactions to Smash character reveals.
Etika disappeared on June 19th, 2019, after having uploaded a video entitled "I'm sorry" where he admitted to being suicidal. His body was discovered on June 24th in the East River, with the determined cause of death being suicide by drowning.
In 2012, Etika opened the "Etika World Network", a YouTube channel meant to host a variety of content creators, though such content never materialized. Etika's content consisted primarily of him reacting to the then newly formed Nintendo Direct presentations, which often involved him screaming wildly and tossing objects in his room around. Though critics often derided him for overexaggerating his reactions, Etika insisted they were genuine, for he had grown into hype culture.
Etika began gaining notoriety in the Smash community during the prerelease of SSB4, during which every newcomer would receive an introduction trailer meant to generate hype and publicity. With the increasing popularity of watching reactions and reaction compilations to these trailers, Etika's screaming and panicking quickly became recognizable among viewers. This included Japanese audiences, who called him "Guile-kun" due to the similarities between his hairstyle and Guile's. His reaction to the reveal of Mewtwo as a DLC fighter in the game, during which he excitedly screams "Mewtwo!" several times even before it is explicitly shown, became one of the most notorious reaction videos in the history of the community and was even retweeted by series creator Masahiro Sakurai.
This publicity led to Etika becoming one of the most popular streamers in the Smash community, with him having a subscriber count of over 800000 between his Twitch and YouTube accounts before the closure of both and a viewership of over 100000. Besides his reactions to Nintendo Directs and other gaming related media, Etika's streams consisted of him chatting to his viewers and playing a variety of video games. He was not a competitive player, but he had active contact with a number of names in the community, such as ZeRo and Alpharad, and frequently discussed matters relating to tournament play, such as the events that led Apex 2015 to lose its first day.
Even as his channel grew, his reactions remained his most notorious content, with the reveal trailer for Cloud in SSB4 involving him tossing around a string of paper towels, and the "Everyone is here" trailer for Ultimate involving him breaking his shelf. He was notably given the "Best Reaction" award at Super Smash Con's 2018 and 2019 iterations.
Disappearance and death
Etika displayed erratic behavior in the months prior to his suicide. On April 16th, 2019, he posted on Twitter stating that he was going to kill himself with a pistol he purchased in Long Island, leading to his arrest and hospitalization; his ex-girlfriend Christine Cardona later confirmed his well-being. A few days later, Etika again posted a photoshopped picture of himself holding a gun. On April 29th, he tweeted a quantity of cryptic messages, including racial slurs, and blocked his close friends, such as Sky. Later that day, he livestreamed himself being detained by police on Instagram after a concerned fan notified police of his alarming behavior on stream. In an interview with Keemstar on the YouTube channel "DramaAlert", Etika would make other disturbing remarks, such as stating that he wanted to "purge all life".
On June 19th, a video titled "I'm sorry" was uploaded on Etika's secondary YouTube channel "TR1Iceman". In the video, Etika admitted to suffering from mental health issues and apologized for pushing his loved ones away from him; the video description also contained a suicide note. The same day, his personal belongings were found on the pedestrian walkway of the Manhattan Bridge, and he was reported missing to the New York Police Department. Between June 24th and June 25th, his body was discovered and recovered down the East River; the Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be drowning, after likely having jumped off the Manhattan Bridge.
A tribute was held in honor of him during the announcement of the "Best Reaction" at Super Smash Con 2019.