My name is Jürgen Hawelka. I have three sons. One of them I can never embrace again. I can never again tell him how much I love him. His name is Dennis Hawelka — also called INTERNETHULK — and this is his story.
While I write these lines, Germany still discusses if esports is really sports. Unfortunately, the sports committees and political positions here are filled with the wrong people, if you expect them to make a sensible decision on this question. A few days ago one politician even compared esports to knitting. I’d like to watch him knit!
At least the federal government has now reacted to the pleas of help from the German games industry and created a governmental fund of 50 million Euros for their support. Some football clubs founded esport teams. I live in Neuss and just read that a school team from Neuss won the “German Games School Championship” in League of Legends. I’d be happy if more progress could be made in this area. I’d be happy for all those who are passionate about games and hope to find a future and social recognition in esports. It would make some things simpler inside families. The budding esport athletes would have it easier to excite their parents to join them on their journey, while the parents wouldn’t be nagged by the constant worry of their child wasting valuable time. My boy may have been able to become a professional player a bit earlier, in which I — as well as the other parts of his family — certainly would have supported him with all our strength. As we in fact did, when things started to become clear with EnVyUs and the perspective of his dreams becoming reality truly existed. But as it was, he was only granted a short, albeit very intense, period of living out his beloved dream job as a professional gamer.
This is why I want to encourage everybody to follow their esports dreams. Never give them up. But be critical of yourselves and compare your skills with those of others to make a realistic estimation of your prospects. And maybe you’ll find a “big brother or sister” on the internet, who can share their experiences with you. Take your families with you on this journey, explain to them what it is that you do, and the opportunities it may afford you. Take their fear away that you may not be able to navigate life. Because this worry, too, keeps parents up at night. Some day they won’t be there anymore to stand side by side with their children, and they just need to have the certainty that their children can stand on their own feet. For example, I never pressed my boys to take up a career which was highly valued by society. The most important factor for me was them being happy with whatever they did — and, of course, being economically stable. I think it’s this way for most parents.
What would a foreword be without thanks to all those, who supported us — in whichever way — and paid respects to our boy. I want to explicitly include Dennis’ mother — my ex-wife Gisela, Dennis’ brothers — Maik and David, and my present wife — Martina, into these thanks.
I had first started to list every single person and all the things we’re thankful for. But there was no end in sight and it would have been another full chapter of this biography. So I decided for a shortened version, since after all this is about Dennis.
I want to thank Team Liquid. From the moment they had to tell us the tragic news of our son and brother being found dead in his room they relentlessly stood at our side. Among other things, this shows itself in the conception and creation of this biography. There are still answers we seek, and Team Liquid is helping us to get them. I can’t thank them enough and can only wish that everyone who comes in distress has such a partner by their side.
I can’t continue without mentioning Blizzard and Team EnVyUs for their support. Thank you for all the posts, videos, the award, the poster on “Eichenwalde” and everything else, which paid respects and still honors our boy today.
If I had to name some of you, it would be:
- Soe @Soembie, my first contact to Dennis’ circle of friends and Blizzard. I won’t ever forget how we cried for my boy over the phone.
- Sascha @YiskaOut, whose English skills made sure that we could deal with forensics and the funeral service at Rose Hills before our travels.
- Ysabel @Noukky, who, when asked how we could ever pay her back, simply answered that she couldn’t be bothered with the principle of debt.
- Mitch @UberShouts, Cologne exile, you agreed on short notice to read my speech in the chapel. I was able to write down the organization, the procedure of the funeral service, until late into the night. As a Windows user, I had to deal with an Apple for the first time. Even with a keyboard that worked differently. I also got it printed out on the hotel's Apple computer in the middle of the night. But I had to realize that I could not have given this speech on my own. Thank you Mitch!!
Thank you all so very much!
We also want to thank everybody for their help through the HulkTastic-Cup. David and I watched as long as we could and almost couldn’t grasp what was happening there.
Thank you also to Dennis’ circle of friends, who we got to meet in Los Angeles. Being with you gave us the strength to get through this time.
We thank all those who took part in Dennis’ funeral procession.
At last, we also just want to thank everyone, who — in whatever form — expressed their sympathies for our boy’s passing, who remember him, who won’t forget him. Among them theScore esports @theScoreesports for the wonderful “Story of Internethulk”. Representative of all other contributions and videos, I want to express my thanks to one specific young person out there, who was very sad when he heard of Dennis’ death. He had the feeling of having to do something for Dennis, and so he sat in front of his piano and played a brief piece, which he released on YouTube. Below, he wrote “Please don’t judge it’s the best I could do for him.” Dear Justin, what could possibly be wrong with it? Your video was incredibly touching. If everybody in the world simply does the best they can do for one another, our world becomes a great deal better.
- Jürgen, Gisela, Maik, David, Martina