In the wake of the untimely and tragic death of VALORANT player Karel “Twisten” Ašenbrener earlier this month, Team Vitality has willingly forfeited its spot in the upcoming EMEA VCT Last Chance Qualifier event via a decision the org has already communicated to Riot Games.
The team said today that Twisten’s death “has caused immense and unprecedented grief among his teammates and staff, our teams and club” and it could “not imagine anyone else playing [in his place] in these last competitions of the season.” With this decision, Vitality’s 2023 season is over.
The decision from Vitality comes only two weeks after the sudden death of the 19-year-old rising star, which rocked the global VALORANT community and left players, personalities, and fans around the world devastated. Moments of silence were held at the ongoing VCT Masters Tokyo as well as at CS:GO events such as the BLAST Spring Finals where Vitality’s Major-winning roster were actively competing.
Following his death, the community has rallied to pay tribute to the fallen star. In memory of the charitable donations he made earlier this year for every Shorty kill at the VCT LOCK//IN event, several players and people around the VALORANT community have pledged to donate to charities supporting mental health initiatives for every Shorty kill across the final events of the 2023 season, thus keeping the tradition Twisten started alive in his memory.
Currently, 53 Shorty kills have been recorded across the VCT Masters Tokyo event with two best-of-five matches remaining. Six more will break the record for the most at an international VALORANT tournament, currently held by the VCT LOCK//IN tournament earlier this year.
The VCT EMEA Last Chance Qualifier is tentatively set to start on July 19. If Fnatic can hold on to win Masters Tokyo in this weekend’s grand final, then the top two EMEA teams from the LCQ will advance to Champions.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. A list of international crisis resources can be found here.