Last Friday, Burhan Khan, Kashan “Chillin” Khan’s brother, publicly announced that Chillin recently had a stroke that came from complications related to a knee infection that spread to his heart. According to Khan, Chillin’s friends had found him unresponsive before taking him to the hospital, where he will require open heart surgery to repair the damage done to his heart.
Hi Everyone, my brother Kashan Khan is currently at the hospital after having a stroke, I'm setting up a GoFundMe to help. Any support would be greatly appreciated.
Here's the link: https://t.co/UlqPwFlEHe
— Burhan Khan (@H2YLProperties) June 11, 2022
Currently, the Khan family is requesting $250,000 in financial assistance. They said the money will be going toward the costs of his surgery, as well as rehabilitation. Per Khan, without the costs to cover what Chillin’s insurance won’t pay for, Chillin could be sent home early from the hospital. So far, he’s received over $200,000 in donations.
According to HugS in a stream, Chillin had likely been incapacitated since around Memorial Day. He said that when his friends found him and brought him to the hospital, the doctors were stunned that Chillin was still alive.
Many of the people reading this column are familiar with Chillin’s background. If you’ve seen “The Smash Brothers,” his story goes something like this: a teenager and his hometown friends get into playing Smash with each other, discover an underground community of fellow Smash fans, and then rise to prominence as figures within that community.
Though Chillin doesn’t have an episode dedicated to himself, he’s one of the main interviewees of the documentary. It’s easy to see why. He has a great knack for remembering key details (mostly) and being able to express them in a complementary way to the footage. Truthfully, you don’t have to watch “The Smash Brothers” to see Chillin’s storytelling abilities. A fun fact is that his Smashboards “History of a Smasher” series was the chief inspiration behind Samox’s documentary. Another is that it played a role in my own involvement within the scene.
When I was writing Smash History articles, Chillin’s personal accounts of specific tournaments were invaluable resources. Occasionally, they spoke for themselves, like when he described the fear of meeting strangers in-person whom he had initially met over the internet, and explaining that to his parents. It also helps that Chillin, among other community figures, was one of my first supporters. He actively platformed my work and gave thoughtful feedback to it without ever being mean-spirited.
I’ve talked about Chillin as a narrator and Chillin as an interviewer. It’s easy to forget about him as a tournament organizer and top player. “The Smash Documentary” and “History of a Smasher” recap how he effectively TO’d the first national with anything close to resembling a modern rule set. Personally, I consider Game Over the closest thing we have to the “start” of the unified, post-items North American Melee scene, and it’s thanks to Chillin.
Obviously, he was also the first person to defeat Ken, but he was more than that: a Top 10 player throughout the MLG era, winning smaller tournaments, and placing in top eights at majors. Chillin was no slouch in the early modern era either. He was No. 26 in the world for two consecutive years, was one of the first smashers signed by a major sponsor in the 2010s, and he hovered around Top 50 before eventually focusing his efforts toward being a major commentator in 2018. For his competitive achievements, he finished No. 27 on the Melee Stats All-Time Top 100.
Let’s get into the version of Chillin that most of you know him for: content creator. He, along with Leffen, is a primary figure in the most famous feud in Smash history – one of the biggest in esports history. To be clear as well, by their competitive merits at the time, Chillin had no business beefing with a rising star like Leffen. He is the only person I’ve heard of within competitive gaming who could be considered the initiator of a beef, write a whole diss track , get creamed, and come away looking like a hero.
I NEVER THOUGH I'D SEE "RESPECT YOUR ELDERS" LIVE BUT #HEIR5 MADE IT HAPPEN
— Zhu @ #BoBC4 (@boxrZhu) August 18, 2018
Most people in the scene – to this day – celebrate his immortal contribution to the Melee rap catalog. He left something that should have been such an embarrassing loss and transformed it into a positive career turning point that he, his fans, and everyone in the Smash scene unambiguously celebrates. Chillin even gifted us “Nice Shot Hugo,” which I listened to yesterday. I still burst out laughing, rapping every word.
On a related note, my favorite moment of Chillin’s career is at the Roast of Hugo Gonzalez. Though it’s difficult to view his performance as a roaster objectively for obvious reasons, I loved his performance. Of everyone involved, he had the best mix of jokes, stage presence, and delivery. Chillin even gave us a great follow-up to “Nice Shot Hugo” in “Disrespect Your Elders.”
Think about how crazy this is in hindsight. Chillin was the best roaster alongside not just some of well-known smash celebrities, but Ludwig. This is someone who would literally become the most successful variety streamer in the world. Chillin’s performance is telling of the extraordinary individual that he is; how truly he excelled in every area he put his mind to; how Chillin always seemed to bring out the best in other people, even when he was making fun of them.
A couple weeks before Chillin’s news became public, I was talking to some of my friends about the most “important” people in Melee history. The obvious names came up first, with players like Mango, Hungrybox, Leffen, Mew2King, and Armada. Then, you had tournament organizers and community leaders like Scar, Juggleguy, Tafokints, Prog, and certainly Fizzi, who basically saved Melee during a pandemic. My friends brought up Samox as well, since his documentary motivated many of them to get involved. I remembered Chillin was a driving force in the documentary.
It then hit me: does anyone in Smash, let alone Melee history, have the wealth of contributions across so many spheres of involvement as Chillin? I asked my friends this question, and everyone was stunned. We couldn’t think of anyone else. If there’s ever been someone who embodies what it means to be involved in the Melee community, it’s Chillin. He’s really dedicated himself toward the game in every phase of his life and every era of Smash.
I really wanted to end this column with my own words. But I’m going to go with what my Smash History co-partner Melissa Blight wrote for Chillin’s blurb on the Melee Stats All-Time Top 100 All-Time. She offers the definitive summary of Chillin’s career – a reminder that he’s a shining example of how someone can make a difference in the community and inspire others.
Chillin is a pillar of our scene, from its very beginnings to the modern day. From player, to TO, to commentator, he’s done it all, reaching highs that seem surreal when you take a step back. No other player can say they have set wins on Ken, Mew2King, and Mango in their primes. No other player can say they practically invented modern TO’ing, as Chillin basically ran the first modern major ever at 2004’s Game Over. No other player can say they made a career of making banger raps directed towards smashers. In every facet of the game, Chillin is truly top of the line. If “My B” proves anything, it’s that he can even turn a loss into an incredible win.