VALORANT pays tribute to pro player who tragically passed away
Riot Games paid tribute to deceased VALORANT pro player Gizem “Luie” Harmankaya with a free in-game title.
Sometimes, the highly-competitive gaming industry can surprise you with wholesome news. That's what Riot Games has done in VALORANT’s 6.08 patch. Gizem "Luie" Harmankaya, a Turkish professional VALORANT player, was one of the many who were lost during the February 2023 earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria at around 04:00 a.m. local time on Feb. 6. Aftershocks were felt throughout the day, including two further earthquakes of 6.5 and 7.5 magnitude. On Feb. 20 another earthquake of 6.3 magnitude was felt in Hatay, southern Türkiye.
Luie was reportedly trapped under rubble for almost three days before finally passing away and was mourned globally by the community. Luie had played for teams like Galaktikos and Unknownpros.
A fitting tribute
Now, a few months after the tragedy, Riot paid tribute to Luie's memory and life through a player card title available on the Episode Six Act Three battle pass. Luie's last-played official match was at the Rebels Finals series on August 14, 2022, held in Istanbul. She had played almost forty games according to vlr.gg in her competitive career.
Upon hearing of her passing, the VALORANT esports community mourned her deeply.
The player card title "Gizem" is available as a free chapter reward on completion of tier five of the battle pass. Luie is the first VALORANT professional player to have their name added to VALORANT. Prior to this, Riot had added another player card title, "Finest," in Episode Four, Act Three. This was an in-game tribute to Lance "Finest" Arcilla, who spawned the game’s “revive me Jett” meme. He passed away at the age of 21, post which Riot released the title to remember him.
The death toll from these earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has surpassed 50,000 people — including 45,968 confirmed deaths in Turkey and 7,259 in Syria. If you'd like to donate to relief and reconstruction efforts through UNICEF, you can do so here.