Popular Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade, real name Alex, has died at the age of 23, prompting numerous fans to write messages of support containing the emoticon “o7” – what does it mean?
Among those paying tribute to Technoblade is fellow Minecraft video maker TommyInnit, who described him as a “legend”.
For a while at least, Techno’s family will continue to operate his merch store, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Sarcoma Foundation of America.
What is the meaning of “o7” in relation to the passing of Technoblade, and how long have Minecraft players been using it?
Why Minecraft players are writing ‘o7’ in their tributes to Technoblade
The emoticon “O7”, usually typed “o7” (with a lower case O), means “I salute you”.
Cyber Definitions’ entry on the emoticon – which isn’t a graphic but is simply a combination of the letter O with the number 7 – notes that the letter O represents a “head or face”, while the number 7 represents an outstretched arm giving a military-style salute.
Incidentally, it adds, the emoticon actually uses the wrong hand.
People usually salute with their right hands. The purpose is to show that you’re not concealing a weapon – since most people are right-handed, they’d brandish a knife with their right hand.
So those writing “o7” in their tributes to Minecraft gamer and YouTuber Technoblade are simply saluting him in the most modern, Minecraft-friendly way – by using their keyboards.
Reddit forum saluting Technoblade with ‘o7’ receives 1.1K comments in 12 hours
Less than a day ago, a Technoblade fan and follower operating under the Reddit username u/Sagradon777 posted a two-character message in the r/Technoblade forum: “o7”.
In the 12 hours since the OP published it, the message has received more than a thousand comments. The vast majority are simple dittos – people saluting Technoblade by writing “o7”.
Others have added more detail. One user apparently watched Alex’s videos from 2017 until his recent passing.
“He’s helped me get through rough patches in my life just by making videos,” the user writes, “and through my life I’ve looked up to him as someone to be.”
“I am 17. Technoblade is 23. Next year, I will be 18, but he will still be 23.”
How long have people been using ‘o7’ to represent a military-style salute on Twitch and Minecraft?
The most popular definition of “o7” on Urban Dictionary notes that it represents the “act of a salute”. It adds that it is popular in games such as Elite Dangerous or EVE Online.
The entry is from 2017.
But the earliest is from 2007, meaning the “o7” emoticon has been around for at least 15 years, at time of Technoblade’s untimely death.
However, since Minecraft has only been around since 2011, that’s the earliest anyone could have used the “o7” emoticon on the platform. Likewise, Twitch came out in 2009 – after the advent of the salute emoticon – meaning anyone could have used it at any point during the software’s history.
What type of cancer did Alex have?
Technoblade, real name Alex, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2021. He shared his diagnosis with his followers soon afterwards.
The fact that he opted to donate some of his posthumous merch sales to the Sarcoma Foundation of America suggests that Technoblade had a form of sarcoma. However, the family has not confirmed this. And, understandably, they’ve asked for privacy following the death of their son.
Also, it’s worth noting that this only narrows it down to a collection of over 50 distinct types of cancer.
“I miss Technoblade,” Alex’s father said in his farewell message today, after reading a statement Technoblade himself wrote before his death. The video has already been viewed nearly 19 million times. “Thanks to all of you, for everything. You meant a lot to him.”