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Fighting game community icon BrolyLegs has died at age 35

Michael 'BrolyLegs' Begum was born with a rare condition that immobilized his arms and legs, but he rose to the top of the Street Fighter ranks.

A fighting game community legend, Michael ‘BrolyLegs’ Begum has passed away, his family announced. He was 35 years old.

As BrolyLegs, Begum was well renowned throughout the FGC as one of the world’s best Chun-Li players. For several years, he was the top-ranked Chun-Li worldwide in Ultra Street Fighter 4, and he regularly participated in tournaments across the United States.

Begum was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1988 and quickly diagnosed with a rare and immobilizing joint condition called arthrogryposis, which prevented him from fully using his arms and legs. He did, however, have full use of his head, neck, and face. After his parents bought him a NES as a child, he began to work out a system for using the controller using a combination of inputs from his cheek, wrists, and mouth.

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With hard work and dedication, Begum broke into the competitive scene with Smash Bros., but eventually moved on to what would become his true passion, Street Fighter. He was the top-ranked online Chun-Li player in Ultra Street Fighter IV for four years in a row, and placed 20th in Street Fighter V at EVO 2022.

Begum also worked with AbleGamers, coached other disabled gamers, and wrote an autobiography, “My Life Beyond the Floor,” in 2014.

His family has not announced a cause of death or plans for a memorial, but have asked that fans “continue to share his story with the world.”

“He loved what he did and made his mark on the world through the best way he knew how,” his family wrote in a statement posted to his X (formerly Twitter) account. “His love of competition is unmatched and the joy he brought to us all can never be replicated. He was a fighter [in] so many more ways than one. He was extraordinary, irreplaceable, the most dedicated man you could ever meet and we were lucky to be a part of his life.”

Michael is survived by his mother Josefina and his siblings Jonathan and Karin Begum.