Turkish VALORANT pro dies after being trapped for over 40 hours following earthquake
The pro player was a resident of Turkey's Kahramanmaraş region, one of the areas hit hardest
Turkish VALORANT professional player Gizem “Luie” Harmankaya, who played for the UnknownPros Female team and Turgutlu Bld Esports, died after being trapped for more than 40 hours under the rubble after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria.
The announcement was made by Turtugulu Bld Esports on Twitter on Wednesday (8 February).
Başaramadık, üzgünüz. Maalesef Gizem Harmankaya'yı kaybettik. Ailesine ve tüm sevenlerine baş sağlığı diliyoruz. Huzur içinde uyu Gizem, seni çok seviyoruz. pic.twitter.com/755BCwlpQl
— Turgutlu Bld Esports (@turgutluesports) February 8, 2023
“We failed, [we are] sorry,” a machine translation of Turtugulu Bld Esports' tweet read.
“Unfortunately, we lost Gizem Harmankaya. Our condolences to his family and all his fans. Rest in peace Gizem, we love you very much.”
Luie was reported to be trapped under the rubble on 7 February. Several members of the Turkish VALORANT community quickly called for help after it was found that she could not be reached by those contacting her.
According to a report by Dot Esports, Luie was a resident of Turkey's Kahramanmaraş region when the country was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Mislina Harmankaya, a family member of Luie, initially tweeted for help, saying that the pro player seemed to still be alive, and able to dial the phone. However, no sound could be heard from the other line.
Several Turkish esports organisations also retweeted the call for rescue, with Luie trapped for more than 40 hours.
Calls for help had spread so far that Turgutlu Bld Esports requested in a separate tweet to “avoid making the process more difficult by spreading news of unknown origin”.
İyi niyetle yardım isteyen herkese çok teşekkür ederiz fakat lütfen kaynağı belirsiz haberleri yayarak süreci daha zor bir hale getirmekten kaçınalım.
ŞAZİBEY MAHALLESİ EBRAR SİTESİ K BLOK 2.KAT 6 NUMARA ONİKİŞUBAT/KAHRAMANMARAŞ@AFADBaskanlik #deprem #artıkgizemikurtarın pic.twitter.com/YIGVcQP928
— Turgutlu Bld Esports (@turgutluesports) February 7, 2023
After Luie's death was confirmed, VALORANT developer Riot Games also expressed their condolences on the official VALORANT Esports Twitter account.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Turkish VALORANT professional player Gizem “Luie” Harmankaya," said Riot.
"Our condolences from the entire VALORANT Esports and Riot Games community go out to Gizem's loved ones during this difficult time."
The developer also called on the VALORANT community to support the ongoing rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria donating to the International Medical Corps.
Luie started her career as a VALORANT pro with Galakticos Sirens in 2021, where they competed at the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Game Changers Series EMEA I.
She then moved to Valstars Gaming Female where the team competed in the VCT Game Changers EMEA Series III, where the team ended their run in the Quarterfinals in 5th-8thplace.
In 2022, Luie competed at the VCT Game Changers EMEA Series I under the flag of Vivace Vista, where the team finished in 13th-16th place.
In Series 2 of the VCT Game Changers EMEA, she was with Unknownpros Female where they were defeated by Alliance Coven in Round 2 of the Main Event. In 2023, Luie joined local Turkish esports organisation Turtuglu Bld Esports.
To find out how you can donate and help those who were affected by the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria, you can check out this link.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.
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