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Eve Online community rallies around family left by passing of popular 37 year-old player

Rest in peace, BigCountry.

The Eve Online community is rallying around the family left by the passing of player Jeff "BigCountry" Waltman two days ago. He was only 37 years old.

BigCountry was known for creating and hosting the weekly Eve Open Comms Show, which has run for more than five years. His co-host Dirk MacGirk wrote a eulogy to his friend as well as started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the wife and two children (eight and six years old) Waltman leaves behind. The campaign has surpassed its $1500 goal and sits at $5755 at the time of writing.

BigCountry in person and player.

"Sadly, the last time I spoke to BC was the day of the Open Comms broadcast from EVE Vegas," wrote MacGirk. "As many of you know, his health has deteriorated over the last few months and he spent most of the last two-three months in bed. That is why he hasn't been on screen.

"Despite not being able to attend, BC loved the idea of us broadcasting live from Vegas. You don't know how badly he wanted to go, but circumstances simply weren't in his favor. In the end, that was not only the last time I spoke to him, but also the last time I was able to see him.

"Tonight I received a Skype message from BC's wife Megan informing me that he had passed away earlier that afternoon ... I still can't believe he's gone. For a guy who once said I'd never find an actual friend through a video game, I feel like I've lost a brother. I'll never forget him, podcasting won't be the same for me without him, but more importantly I'll miss just talking with him.

"Fly safe, BigCountry."

Aye, rest in peace.

Watch on YouTube

The Eve Online community has rallied around members of the community before. The well known Eve Online leader The Mittani spearheaded a fundraising effort for a former player who had been diagnosed with cancer, and collectively more than $10,000 was raised. Eve Online has also lost prominent members of the community before, most memorably in 2012, when a US official, also a high-ranking Eve Online player, was killed in an attack on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

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