Team Vitality Valorant pro Twisten dies aged 19

Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

Team Vitality have announced that their Valorant player Karel ‘Twisten’ Ašenbrener has passed away at the age of 19.

In a Twitter post, the French organization revealed that Twisten “passed away last night”. According to Vitality assistant coach Harry ‘Gorilla’ Mepham, the player took his own life.

In February, Twisten revealed that he had been battling depression for some time and had spent a stint at a mental health hospital due to self-harming behavior.

“We are deeply saddened by this devastating loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this difficult time,” Vitality wrote.

“The whole Team Vitality organization is devastated by this news, and we will be stopping all communication for the rest of the day.”

In a follow-up tweet, Vitality spoke about the importance of mental health and encouraged those who are struggling to seek support.

In his final tweet, posted on the evening of June 6, Twisten wrote: “Good night”

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A rising Valorant star

After playing for Czech organizations eSuba and Entropiq, Twisten had his breakthrough in 2022 with BIG. He played a key role as the team competed in the VCT 2022 EMEA Challengers tournaments in Stages 1 and 2.

Before the end of the year, he was signed by Team Vitality, one of Riot’s ten partners for the VCT EMEA league. He made his international debut at VCT LOCK//IN, where the team placed 9th-16th.

Hara Amorós / Riot Games / LVP
Twisten played his final match for Vitality on May 25

Following the 0-2 loss to Leviatán in the Round of 16, Twisten missed the beginning of the post-match press conference. He later explained his absence with the fact that the result had hit him hard and that he needed some fresh air. He also revealed that he had been battling depression “for two years” and that his mental health had been in decline since the end of 2022.

Before VCT LOCK//IN, Twisten had made headlines for his pledge to donate €25 ($27 USD) for each frag with a Shorty in the tournament. He donated €1450 (approximately $1553 USD) to Hunderettung Europa, a non-profit animal welfare association, for the 58 Shorty kills that were made in São Paulo.

Twisten went on to help Team Vitality to a 5th-6th place in the VCT EMEA League. The team is slated to compete in the region’s last-chance qualifier for Valorant Champions, scheduled for July 15-23. The winner of the qualifier will secure a spot in the season-ending tournament.

If you have been affected by issues raised in this article, information and support are available from the Suicide Prevention Helpline 1-800-273-8255 (USA) or the Samaritans 116-123 (UK).

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