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By: AJ_Impy, AJ Richardson
Apr 03 2011 2:24pm
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In Memoriam Erik Friborg




4th May 1980-2nd April 2011



It is with great sadness that I report the death of Erik 'Hamtastic' Friborg last Saturday, 2nd April 2011. I've worked with him on the podcast since 2009, and I've known him through his exemplary work for the MTGO community for many years prior. He was one of the first to step up for the Volunteer Community Lead program on the official Wizards boards, giving hours of his, time, energy and patience to help out his fellow players. He had been one of the most prolific MTGO writers, with over 240 articles to his name here on PureMTGO. He started State of the Program back in 2007, and began Freed from the Real in 2009. 


Dry dates and lists of contributions don't do anything to tell you what he was like as a person. Erik was very kind, considerate and helpful in his dealings with others, and was as supportive a friend as anyone could hope for. He had an optimistic outlook and vision, coupled with the will to follow it through. This took him from his job at IBM to living the dream in opening up his own card shop, Accidentally Cool Games. He was a man ready, willing and able to seize the day, and proved it time and again. Whenever the podcast ran into technical difficulties, he'd battle through them, even to the extent of rerecording the whole show from scratch if it didn't save properly. He worked damned hard, and what he did made the lives of others easier, more palatable, more fun. That's the kind of man he was, a man I am more than proud to call my friend. 


His passing rips a hole in our lives, and in the MTGO community itself. I have a very hard time thinking of anyone who has given as much of themselves, week in, week out, for us as a whole. This pales into nothingness next to the loss felt by his wife and son. On behalf of the site, I extend our heartfelt condolences to them. He leaves behind a great many friends, both in his local community and across the world as part of the online community. He has touched hundreds of lives, thousands, who will remember him with great warmth and with gratitude. 


Rest in peace, Erik.

Sebastian 'Runeliger' Park, Erik's first co-host on the podcast, had this to say:
Erik was more than just a partner, a friend and a fellow magic player. He was a role model for what I wanted to be. He leaves a beautiful son and a loving wife. Words cannot begin to describe the pain we all feel at his passing. Eric leaves behind shoes that will never be filled, and it's hard to ever see myself playing this game again without thinking of him. When we were first starting out on the Podcast, I was really afraid, but Erik was the one saying 'If you want something in life, you have to go for it'. Even though I've heard this expression before, Erik lived his words. The moment he opened up his card store was truly the moment when I knew I would follow in his example and always just go for it.


RIP Friend by QuantumTarantino at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 14:44
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Oh man, Hamtastic was the one, and only reason i came here.

This is terrible news, and you will be greatly missed friend

This is very sad. by wspaniel at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 14:55
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This is very sad.

Such a loss by one million words at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 14:59
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I will always remember Erik at the Invitational. He enjoyed everything, and made being there a pleasure.

Magic has lost one of the good ones. The really good ones.

Wow by jake_antonetz at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:02
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I'm really speechless at this last announcement. This is a sad day. Prayers go out to his family.

Well said AJ. I can't imagine by Paul Leicht at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:03
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Well said AJ. I can't imagine anyone who could say it better than this. Ripped out of our existence indeed. He will be forever missed and yet I will always remember his voice from the podcasts as he carried us forward into yet another week on MODO and in the world. Resquiat In Pacem Erik!

:( by zahori at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:09
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I'm so incredibly sad about this. Not only for our loss of a friend, but for the incredible loss to his family. I have known Erik for a long time via modo and the forums and from the first time I interacted with him I knew he was someone special. He was the type of guy many of us wish we could be, and all of us were happy to know. I'm going to miss you Erik.

Wow, It is one of those by lumbydan at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:13
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It is one of those things that makes you almost sick to your stomach. I could not say I really knew him other than I read his articles and listened to his podcasts and it still hit me like a ton of bricks. His family will be in my prayers.

We've lost a real treasure of by middleman_35 at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:20
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We've lost a real treasure of the Modo community, and one of its brightest lights. My condolences to his family.

Erik by joekewwl at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:30
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I know whats its like to loose someone and I wish it on nobody.
Thanks for the write up guys and letting us know of Erik's passing.
I was gonna say more, but I really wouldn't make it through typing it all. - Joe

Rest in peace by Killer Owen at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:31
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I was fortunate enough to get to know Erik, and what a guy he was. He is sorely missed already. Erik was one of the most genuine players I have ever met, and one of the friendliest guys. I will miss playing and talking with Erik. Rest in peace Erik and my sympathy to your family and friends. You were one of a kind.

I'm incredibly sad. My by Lord Erman at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:32
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I'm incredibly sad. My prayers are with his family.

Rest in peace Erik. You will be deeply missed.


Really disheartening news to by greyes3 at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 15:45
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Really disheartening news to read. I can't speak much about him personally because I didn't know him like some of the other people here, but I was a huge fan of his work, and really looked forward to his articles every week. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

RIP Erik by spg at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:13
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RIP Erik, you will be missed.

Thank you for everything by silverwyvern4 at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:21
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Thank you for everything Erik!
God bless you

that is terrible, rip ef by cavegoat at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:23
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that is terrible, rip ef

that is terrible, rip ef by cavegoat at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:23
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that is terrible, rip ef

oh my by DeckWizard at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:35
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wow. this is so sad. my thoughts go out to his family. tragic.

RIP Dear Friend by Jacobs at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 07:46
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I knew Eric as a friend, though I never once spoke with him. In reading his articles and listening to his pod casts each week, I came to learn how lucky I was to have someone like him working on our behalf each week to bring us news about the common bond we all share, MTGO. Love, kindness, care and compassion are some of his many qualities that were evident in his work and echoed by the way he carried himself. I will miss you dear friend. God bless you and God bless your family.

5 fireballs to celebrate Eric... not for the sad news of his departure.

I apologize, but does anyone know what happened?

- Jacobs

Devastating news. While I was by dragonmage65 at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 17:25
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Devastating news. While I was only privileged to have a few casual interactions with him, years ago when I was more active, Erik always seemed like a fantastic guy. His selfless efforts to promote and improve the game exemplified what it means to be a true community-builder, and there is no doubt that we shall all miss his contributions dearly. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very trying time.

:( RIP Hammy by Worth at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 17:28
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One of the good ones. I feel like he and I (and a few others) really went through the fire together there in those early, dark days when I first started. Fair, honest, and constructive to the Nth degree.

I'm lucky to have gotten to meet him at the first community cup, his real life personality matched his internet persona perfectly.

My heart breaks for his family and friends.

RIP Hammy, you will be missed. :(

Very sad, and way too early by Scartore at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 19:42
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Very sad, and way too early it seems. We'll miss his presence here...

No Words by Wotc_k at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 19:56
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My heart goes out to his family and friends. There are no words that ease the pain of losing someone too soon, and this was way too soon.

Sucks... by moerutora at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 20:07
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I came to MTGOTraders and was like "YES!!! Content on Sunday!" Well... not the content I was expecting.
Hope his family pulls through this.

What a terrible thing to by wrongwaygobk at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 20:27
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What a terrible thing to happen. Rest in Peace, Erik.

Wow, a really sad day. My by Leviathan at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 20:43
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Wow, a really sad day. My heart goes out to his family. I never met him, but his contributions were great. He will be missed.

RIP Hammy :( by Erik at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 20:51
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Very sad :(
It was really fun meeting Erik at the first community cup, and his articles were my favorite.
My heart goes out to his family.

My condolences by Montolio at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 20:52
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Although I never really got to know Hamtastic well, I felt like i knew him. I have been reading his articles, and listening to his podcast for a few years now.
When i heard him on the podcast i could just tell he was a good man.
To his family and the mtgo communtiy I give my sincere condolences. Hamtastic will be greatly missed.


I just want to send my by ShardFenix at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 21:04
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I just want to send my prayers to Erik's family and all of the lives he touched. I remember chatting with him in /join BBS and even in v3. He really was a great guy. And he will be sorely missed.

This is very sad news indeed. by ArchGenius at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 21:09
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This is very sad news indeed. Erik inspired me to write for this site, and I always had plans to make the trip upstate to visit his store some day. He will truly be missed and my prayers go out to his family.


Horrible news by PatrykG at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 21:32
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I never met Hamtastic, and never had the chance to play with him on MTGO, but he will still sorely be missed. He was the reason I started reading PureMTGO, and I will definitely miss him and his articles. I wish his family well.

I just know Hamtastic from by themonkey at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 22:19
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I just know Hamtastic from his execllent work on the site, and still I feel like I was punched in the gut. He will be missed and my heart goes out to his family.

Condolences to his family. A by laughinman at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 22:42
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Condolences to his family.

A great loss indeed.

Rest in Peace. by gimlicolby at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 22:58
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Rest in Peace.

RIP by Jyalt at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 23:33
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While I didn't always agree with Hamtastic, he very passionate and truly loved magic. I will miss reading the value updates on the State of the Program. This is a loss for the MTG community.

This is such a hard thing to by Raddman at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 23:40
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This is such a hard thing to swallow, Erik will be truly missed and the mtgo community has lost one of the great ones. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Rest in peace. by julian_simon at Sun, 04/03/2011 - 23:55
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I to have never met him, but followed his writing and podcast. And each friday State of the Program was a highlight. So when i saw the news here i got a lump in my throat. So sad when someone passes away to early. Hope for the best for his family. Rest in peace Erik.

!!!! by oshdra at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 00:05
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I am so shocked, so sad. My condolences to his family.

I only know Hamtastic from by ThatDude at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 02:06
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I only know Hamtastic from his great articles on the site but this is a truly sad day for everyone who visits this site. My condolences to his family.

So tragic.. by mrbig1479 at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 07:02
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Dear hammy , you will be missed , your sharp writing and great articles and the love for mono red decks...
my deepest condolences to his family.
i was hoping to comment about the leagues when they do come back (and i was counting on you to update us all) , and share some ideas,
It must have been some sudden tragedy since you never mantion anything about it in your writings..

can't say anything else since its just shocking.
Rest in peace


... by Element H at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 13:42
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I only knew the guy from his work here and elsewhere but I enjoyed everything he did for the community. This is a sad turn of events and my condolences go out to his friends and family. You will be missed.

I didn't really know Hammy, by blau at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 14:37
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I didn't really know Hammy, but I was amazed by how open he was when I asked if I could write about the Harem format. Not only did he suprise me then, but after my first article posted and people started the flames, he messaged me on MTGO and told me not to quit. He basically, after a short conversation, convinced me to keep writing about the format even if people were angry. He was always willing to chat with me on MTGO and I will miss having him as a game buddy. The site will not be the same without him.

This is sad news indeed. My by darthibanezowner at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 14:53
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This is sad news indeed. My condolences go out to his family.

worked with Erik back in IBM days by ssdustie at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 15:32
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I have not been in touch with Erik since we worked together at IBM, but I am very sad for this loss to all, especially his wife, baby and family. RIP Hammy

Hammy by Plusua at Mon, 04/04/2011 - 22:30
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I'm just finding this news out tonight. My condolences to his family and friends. I was just talking to another MTGO player about him. How he contributes to make our experience better. Say a prayer, I'll miss his work. He is truly inspiring.

Words fail me. Rest in by Bazaar of Baghdad at Tue, 04/05/2011 - 00:48
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Words fail me. Rest in peace. I am praying for you and your family.

I'd really want to have by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 04/05/2011 - 09:50
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I'd really want to have something to say, but I haven't. I'm speechless. There are no words.

This is a huge loss to the by kwaaartz at Tue, 04/05/2011 - 11:15
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This is a huge loss to the mtgo community. You will be missed by many. My condolences go out to his family, and they are in my prayers...

I just found out about this by Flippers_Giraffe at Tue, 04/05/2011 - 13:14
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I just found out about this and it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Hammy was a great inspiration for us all and will always be missed.

It’s just so sad I’m lost for words


Dark Cloud's picture

I am so saddened for Erik's family for their loss. The show, Freed from the Real, was very supportive to players of MTGO, and, I am sure that he was a very supportive family member.

Much thanks to AJ for his inspiring words about Erik. I sincerely hope that when he and Kaya feel able, they will please continue to bring us the quality news and discussions that I have been eagerly awaiting for the last few months. Obviously, it will never be the same without Erik, but, the community needs Freed from the Real to continue, if at all possible, please.

Only found out today by Ivo at Wed, 05/11/2011 - 09:55
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I just noticed today :( I'm really terribly sad about this and I never met him other than online.

I mainly remember many posts in many threads in the official boards, before PureMTGO. I don't think I ever even played a game with Hammy as the timezone difference was significant.

I can say that I believe that from the community, he was probably the person that most positively contributed to MTGO. And as far as I know, he wasn't even in MTGO from the start, so that should tell you something of the incredibly high density of his contributions. It is not only a personal tragedy, but a hefty loss for MTGO which will no longer benefit from his contributions.