Riot adds touching tribute to deceased VALORANT pro in new battle pass

A permanent shrine to one of VALORANT's brightest.

Image via Unknownpros

With the April 25 release of VALORANT’s 6.08 patch, developer Riot Games has permanently enshrined a fallen professional player into the game itself via an unlockable reward in the season’s battle pass.

Turkish VALORANT player Gizem “Luie” Harmankaya passed away in early Feb. 2023 during the Turkish and Syrian earthquakes that ultimately claimed over 50,000 lives. Her former Game Changers squad Unknownpros shared news of her death after it was reported the star was trapped underneath rubble caused by the earthquakes for almost three days.

Now, nearly three months on from her tragic passing, Riot today paid tribute to Luie with the addition of a player card title, available for free to all VALORANT players through the Episode Six, Act Three battle pass.

Related: How VALORANT esports was affected by the earthquakes in Turkey

Riot’s VALORANT global community manager Jo-Ellen Aragon revealed the “very special tribute in memory of Gizem” on Twitter shortly after the April 25 patch went live. While VALORANT Champions Tour organizations receive player card titles following major wins, it is the first instance of an individual player’s name used in the game.

Players can earn and equip the Gizem player title after reaching the fifth tier of the current VALORANT battle pass. The player titles at tier five are free for all players and do not require a purchase of the battle pass to unlock.

Luie recorded 38 pro VALORANT matches, according to esports stats site VLR.gg, initially debuting with Galakticos Sirens in Aug. 2021. She would go on to represent Valstars and Vivace Vista at Game Changers before moving to Unknownpros in April 2022.

Her final recorded match came at the Rebels Finals series on Aug. 14, 2022, held in Istanbul. Unknownpros was eliminated by Beşiktaş Esports despite Luie’s best efforts—she finished the series with a 1.10 rating and 34 kills.

This VALORANT battle pass will be live for at least two months.

About the author
Nicholas Taifalos

Aussie Editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career as a commentator, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly CS:GO and Dota. Email: [email protected]