The tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant has shook the sporting world to its core, but his legacy reaches far beyond the scope of the sport he practiced to the highest level. In the world of video games and esports, his name has long been associated with precision projectiles, most often grenades, and a show of force and accuracy in the virtual world has somehow become a part of his legacy.

What does Kobe! mean?

Kobe Bryant’s legendary performances and precision on the court has long ago become a reference joke by itself. A skillful throw from the halfway line in a pickup game just isn’t the same without yelling “Kobe!" (or "kobe") as it lands. In the world of video games, it’s most often the grenade throws which earn such accolade, a round projectile arcing across the air to devastating effect.

Accuracy and effectiveness are the name of the game here, and every time a grenade doubles as an airstrike, don’t be surprised if your teammates (or even the enemies through grinning teeth) throw a kobe or two your way in the chat.

Sometimes it happens on the biggest stage of all. Just as Dosia:

Where does Kobe! come from?

Beyond its playground origins, Dave Chappelle's 2004 skit has pushed it deep into public consciousness, with mundane and meaningless throws turned into MVP-worthy memes on a regular basis. The term has a long and proud history in Counter-Strike, but it eventually found a home in other shooters as well. Of course, the NBA 2k series also features many direct references to the legendary basketball player, with many, more straightforward ways to perform a "Kobe!".

Header image credit: / Russian.cfg's gaming channel