Oh my god, he just ran in.
One of the most famous videos on the internet turns 10 today.
On May 11, 2005, a video was uploaded to a World of Warcraft fansite called Warcraft movies. It showed a guild preparing for battle, discussing the strategy they would soon use in combat. About a minute and a half into the clip, one of the members goes rogue, decides to rush in, and with a primal scream, one of the internet’s best-known memes is born.
What you’re watching is a reuploaded version of the famous clip. The original, first uploaded to YouTube on August 6, 2006, now has audio problems. The famous Leeroy Jenkins yell is no longer audible. It still boats over 43 million views.
Know Your Meme has a nice summary of how Leeroy Jenkins spread:
On November 19th, 2005, the video was uploaded to YouTube for the first time but it was not until a second instance was uploaded on August 6th, 2006, that the video began to gain views on the site. As of May 2012, this version had 30,615,841 views. The first news outlet to cover the site was PC Gamer UK in August 2005, who saw the video The video has been covered by the Guardian, and PC World In 2011, Joystiq published a look back on Leeroy’s legacy as part of a series titled “WoW Archivist,” which focused on major events throughout the history of the game.
Blizzard recognized Leeroy several times in the game by giving him an official trading card, mini figurine, named an achievement after him in the Rookery where his video took place, added a Hearthstone card based of him, and eventually added him to World of Warcraft as an NPC.
Some question whether or not the whole thing was staged.
Either way, Leeroy Jenkins has spent a decade as a deeply-embedded cultural reference. Here’s a look at Ben Schulz, the man behind Leeroy Jenkins:
Congratulations, Leeroy. You’re an indelible part of internet culture and a perfect metaphor for self-sabotage.