Valorant pro player and Team Vitality member Karen ‘Twisten’ Asenbrener has died, aged 19.
The passing of the Czech Valorant star has been confirmed by Team Vitality on its official Twitter page. “We are deeply saddened by this devastating loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this difficult time,” the French esports team says.
The statement adds that “the whole Team Vitality organization is devastated by this news, and we will be stopping all communication for the rest of the day.” It follows up its statement with support links, expressing that “mental health continues to be an extremely important topic for everyone in esports and in life. If you are struggling please reach out to someone to talk, it is never too late.”
Appearing on social media as recently as Tuesday, June 6, 2023, Twisten’s last post reads “good night.” It is understood both from Vitality’s links to mental health support, and from comments from other members of the Vitality Valorant team, that Twisten had taken his own life.
In the wake of Twisten’s passing, Team Vitality manager Robert Mulgan shares his words on the Valorant star: “Today we lost one of the great humans I’ve met. Someone who was always thinking about others.”
Though Twisten’s passing is a hard moment for fans to process, Mulgan says that “Twisten wouldn’t have wanted people to despair or be sad, he only ever wanted to bring joy into the world […] If you saw him go on stage with cat ears and laughed like me then please hold on to those memories and let Twisten live on through that.”
Teammate Santeri ‘Bonecold’ Sassi describes Twisten as the “most genuine human I’ve [ever] met, [he] always had us smiling.” Outside of the Team Vitality fold, Team Liquid member Elias ‘Jamppi’ Olkkonen echoes the sentiments of others, sharing that Twisten was “so talented, you could see the passion he had for the game, and impact on his team. Forever part of Valorant.”
VCT host Yinsu Collins has also paid tribute, saying that Twisten “was going through a lot but still treated everyone with love and respect”.
“We bonded over some personal things over the last year and it was a joy to see him in the studio every week,” she adds.
His fire and passion for Valorant are admired by fans and peers alike, all the way up to his final match at VCT EMEA League on Thursday, May 25, 2023, facing off against FUT esports. Previously cutting his teeth with teams such as eSuba, Twisten’s ascension up the Valorant professional ranks came in VCT 2022 EMEA Challengers, where he entered stages 1 and 2 with BIG. Following this, Team Vitality brought Twisten on board in late 2022, leading to his international debut at the VCT Lock In.
If you feel like you are struggling with your mental health and are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or you know someone else who is, reach out and get help by calling the Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255) in the USA, the Samaritans (116-123) in the UK, or any of the other suicide crisis lines in your country. A full list can be found here.