Content warning: This story discusses suicide.
French eSports organization Team Vitality is mourning the loss of their teammate.
Karel “Twisten” Ašenbrener, who was a star Valorant player for Team Vitality, has died by suicide, according to the team’s assistant coach. He was 19.
Team Vitality confirmed Karel’s passing in a June 6 statement posted to Twitter.
“We are heartbroken to share with you that our Valorant player Karel ‘Twisten’ Ašenbrener passed away last night,” it read. “We are deeply saddened by this devastating loss, and our first thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this difficult time.”
The team added, “The whole Team Vitality Organization is devastated by this news.”
Harry “Gorilla” Mepham, assistant coach of Team Vitality, called Karel one of his “closest friends” and offered a few words on his passing in a statement on Twitter the same day.
“I woke up this morning to the news of one of my closest friends, someone who genuinely felt as if he was my brother, taking his own life,” he wrote in a message re-tweeted by the team. “Words can not describe the grief or emptiness I’m feeling right now. I loved him and forever will. Rest easy brother, we all love you.”
In a follow-up message, Team Vitality emphasized the importance of mental health, urging those wrestling with inner battles to reach out and seek help.
Earlier this year, in a Feb. 25 tweet, Karel opened up about his battle with depression and self-harming behavior, sharing that he had spent some time in a mental health hospital.
“I have been dealing with depression for over two years now,” he wrote. “I don’t know if people saw it at the event here at the LOCK/IN but over Christmas I did bad things to myself.”
“I self harmed and my was in bad situation for a few days and was considering ending it all but my dad saved me,” Karel said. “I spent few days in the ‘worst’ Mental Health Hospital for people that have serious problems.”
He noted he had a “new fresh start” afterward and was able to bounce back and “get his s–t together.
“It was the hardest time for me as a person and as a professional eSports athlete,” he concluded. “But after that time I knew why I’m playing games and what my team means to me.”
Karel’s final tweet on the evening of June 6 was “Good night.”
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