May 23, 2024

Remembering Chris “Zuna” Buechter: A Trailblazer in Esports

Aria Mitchell
Written byAria MitchellWriter
Researched byHaruki NakamuraResearcher

Key Takeaways

  • Chris “Zuna” Buechter, a pioneering North American League of Legends player, has passed away at 33.
  • A GoFundMe page set up by his brother, Kenneth, has raised almost $11,000 to cover funeral expenses.
  • The esports community, including notable figures like Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, has shown overwhelming support.

Chris “Zuna” Buechter, whose name is synonymous with the early days of competitive League of Legends in North America, has left us too soon, passing away on May 20 at the age of 33. The news, first reported by his brother Kenneth through a heartfelt GoFundMe campaign aimed at funding Zuna's funeral expenses, has sent ripples through the esports community. Kenneth disclosed that Zuna's untimely departure was due to “a sudden unexpected medical episode.”

Remembering Chris “Zuna” Buechter: A Trailblazer in Esports

At this time, the crowdfunding effort has garnered significant support, amassing close to $11,000, thanks in part to donations from both current and former League of Legends esports athletes, including a notable contribution from Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. This overwhelming response underscores the tight-knit nature of the esports fraternity and the indelible mark Zuna left on the scene.

Zuna's journey to esports stardom began with his qualification for the 2013 NA LCS Spring Split as part of Team FeaR, which was subsequently rebranded to Team Vulcun. Under his guidance, the team clinched third place in the playoffs, earning a spot at the prestigious Worlds 2013 tournament. Although 2014 saw a dip in his League of Legends career, Zuna found renewed vigor in Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, joining Cloud9 and later playing for esteemed organizations like Tempo Storm and Team Naventic until his retirement in 2018.

The news of Zuna's passing has prompted an outpouring of tributes on social media, highlighting his joyful spirit and passion for gaming. Xmithie, a former teammate, reminisced about Zuna as “the most joyful person” he had the pleasure of knowing. This sentiment has been echoed by many within the esports community, painting a picture of a man whose vibrancy and enthusiasm for life were as impactful as his gaming legacy.

Zuna's story is a poignant reminder of the human element behind the screens; of the dreams, struggles, and camaraderie that define the esports journey. As the community mourns, it also celebrates the life of a player who dared to dream, compete, and inspire. Chris “Zuna” Buechter may have left the stage, but his legacy will forever be a part of esports history.

(First reported by: Kenneth Buechter, May 2023)

About the author
Aria Mitchell
Aria Mitchell

From Rotorua's scenic landscapes, Aria Mitchell shines as New Zealand's leading expert in localizing online casino content. Marrying Kiwi essence with global gaming insights, she's the name trusted nationwide.

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