Leeroy Jenkins is the name of a viral gaming meme that stems from the MMORPG fantasy game World of Warcraft.
“Leeroy Jenkins” was originally a player character played by voice actor Ben Schulz.
The name became popular after “Leeroy Jenkins” AKA Ben Schulz had been AFK for a moment while his team was planning a raid strategy. As he was AFK, he did not hear the plan, therefore when he came back he just stormed into combat screaming his own name.
Therefore, the “Leeroy Jenkins” memes usually consist of various image macros that imply that a stupid, impulsive decision was made, while being captioned “Leeeroy Jeeenkins!”
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The character became famous after the video was uploaded to Warcraftmovies in May 2005.
It was originally shared in a serious context, asking other players for working game strategies and even suggesting that game manufacturer Blizzard decrease the difficulty of the raid.
However, viewers found the story amusing, especially because the reason Ben Schulz was AFK was to go get some chicken, and at the end of the footage when everyone was upset over losing, he stated “-at least I have chicken”.
Viewers started sharing the video to other platforms, and the meme developed.
Spread and Usage
Just weeks after the video went viral, the story was shared under the title “The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins” in magazine PC Gamer UK.
They called him a hero for bringing joy into the game, contrasting the often too-serious attitudes towards raids.
Even the game manufacturer Blizzard decided to add the achievement “Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!” to the game, obtained by players if they kill 50 rookery whelps within 15 seconds.
Later on, in Warlords of Draenor, “Leeroy Jenkins” is featured as an NPC, with the voice of Ben Schulz.
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