On February 19th, 2017, Nicholas “Ministry” McGuire went into cardiac arrest at the Swedish Super Smash Bros. tournament Beast7. Now, the Smash community at large has banded together to raise over $23,000 for his estimated $200,000 hospital bill.
During a match, McGuire collapsed onto the floor when an artificial valve in his heart, which he had due to a congenital heart disease, stopped working. The audience was shocked, but quickly sprung into action. Players rushed to move tables and televisions out of the way and called an ambulance. Some ran next door to find a defibrillator.
Adam “Armada” Lindgren, a top-ranked Melee player who knows McGuire from Gothenburg tournaments, told me, “Every minute felt like forever. It was really scary.”
McGuire’s been competing at Super Smash Bros. Melee for about seven years. He’s attended tournaments around the world, but mainly in Toronto, where he was a figure in the local Melee community (He later moved to Gothenburg). Smash players around the world launched donation streams and social media campaigns to help pay for his ambulance, ICU visit and heart procedures.
Lindgren, along with other Melee superstars like Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, are diligently raising money with Twitch charity streams for McGuire’s hospital bill. They’ve raised thousands each day on top of the $23,000 fans have donated through a GoFundMe. At local Gothenburg tournaments, players are organizing donation drives and coordinating hospital visits.
“I have a huge following and I felt that I could turn it into something good,” Lindgren said.
From the hospital, McGuire told me that “Every day, I continue to be surprised by the level of support from everyone.” McGuire’s sister, Katherine, was also surprised at how quickly and efficiently the Melee community rose to the occasion, added, “It’s amazing to see how people who don’t necessarily know Nick come together as a big family. And I never would have imagined how big that family is.”