The eSports community is mourning the loss of Karel Asenbrener, a professional Valorant player who was assigned to Team Vitality of the Valorant Champions Tour 2023 EMEA League. His team confirmed his death on Twitter on June 7, where it was revealed he died by suicide on June 6 – he was 19 years old.
His death came hours after he posted a cryptic tweet at 2:53 p.m. on June 6 – all it said was, “Good night.”
“We are heartbroken to share with you that our VALORANT player Karel ‘Twisten’ Asenbrener passed away last night,” the tweet read, which was seen by 24+ million people. “We are deeply saddened by this devastating loss, and our first thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this difficult time.”
Team Vitality posted a follow-up tweet that acknowledged the importance of mental health awareness and reaching out for help – whenever it’s needed. “If you are struggling please reach out to someone to talk, it is never too late,” they wrote in the tweet, sharing a link to a map of suicide helplines and organizations.
Three minutes after Team Vitality revealed his death, Harry ‘Gorilla’ Mepham – his assistant coach – posted his own tribute on Twitter. He described Karel Asenbrener as one of his ‘closest friends’ and ‘genuinely felt as if he was my brother.’ Mepham left us with a quote from one of Twisten’s favorite shows.
“If you are feeling disheartened, that you are somehow not enough, set your heart ablaze,” the quote read – Mepham said it was a quote Twisten would say to others when they were feeling down. “Words can not describe the grief or emptiness I’m feeling right now. I loved him and forever will,” Mepham continued.
As news of his death spread, Karel Asenbrener received an overwhelming amount of love and support on social media. His death was felt by the entire eSports community – not just by his team and teammates, but by other teams, their players, decision-makers in the sport, and, of course, their loyal fanbases.
According to One Esports, Asenbrener – better known by his nickname, Twisten – ‘primarily played duelist, often picking Jett and Raze, and helped Team Vitality finish 5th-6th in the inaugural VCT EMEA League.’ He began his pro career in 2020 and previously competed on the Valorant Champions Tour.
Karel Asenbrener Previously Opened Up About His Battle With Depression
On February 26, Karel Asenbrener published a letter to ‘all Vitality fans, supporters, and haters as well [sic]’ on TwitLonger. His team had just suffered a crushing defeat, and he was late to the press conference because he needed time to himself. In his explanation, he revealed his two-year battle with depression.
“I self harmed and my was in a bad situation for a few days and was considering ending it all but my dad saved me. I spent few days in the “worst” Mental Health Hospital for people that have serious problems. After that I had a new fresh start and was able to thankfully get my s**t together,” he wrote in the letter.
On June 7, VCT analyst Ryan “RyanCentral” Horton tweeted about how the eSports community could honor Twisten’s death. He suggested continuing his ‘€25 for a shorty kill for charity’ donation challenge at international events before asking his followers if there was a donation website that could make it happen.
About five hours later, Team Liquid streamer Connor “Sliggy” Blomfield replied to RyanCentral’s tweet and expressed how much he loved the idea. “Count me in. I will be donating €25 for every Shorty kill at Masters Tokyo and again at Champions to a Mental Health Charity,” he wrote in his response.
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