Riot Games, the developer of popular first-person shooter VALORANT, has once again paid tribute to late VALORANT pro, Gizem “Luie” Harmankaya, nearly ten months after her death from the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria last February.
Luie, a Turkish pro player formerly from Unknownpros, tragically lost her life in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 6 February.
In a unique tribute, Riot crafted a player card, a departure from the usual lighthearted meme-filled cards, serving as a poignant reminder of the tragedy that unfolded on that fateful day. This commemorative player card will be available as a free reward for all players upon updating and launching the game.
Gizem "Luie" Harmankaya, hep bizimlesin. pic.twitter.com/u2XWlUZWik
— VALORANT // TÜRKİYE (@VALORANTtr) November 29, 2023
A popup screen will greet players, bearing the heartfelt message, "THIS ONE'S FOR LUIE" and "Celebrate the life of GIZEM 'LUIE' HARMANKAYA."
Beyond being a mark of respect, Riot Games encourages players to equip the card as a collective celebration of Luie within the gaming community.
Screenshots and videos of several in-game queues have shown players equipping the player card to participate in the tribute for the late player as well. Some players also uploaded videos on TikTok for this occasion.
This is not the first time Riot has paid tribute to the late player. In April, Riot released a player title “Gizem”, which became available to players after reaching the fifth tier of the Episode Six Act Three Battle Pass.
Luie played at the EMEA VALORANT Game Changers Circuit where she competed under Galakticos Sirens, Unknownpros Female, and Vivace Vista. Entering the professional VALORANT scene in 2021 with Galakticos, Luie competed at the highest professional level in VALORANT for female players.
She later joined Valstars Gaming Female, a team that reached the VCT Game Changers EMEA Series III quarterfinals, securing a fifth to eighth-place finish.
Transitioning to Vivace Vista, Luie participated in the 2022 VCT Game Changers EMEA Series I, where the team landed between thirteenth and sixteenth place.
As a member of Unknownpros Female, Luie faced a setback in Series 2 of the VCT Game Changers EMEA, losing to Alliance Coven in the second round of the main event. In 2023, Luie joined Turtuglu Bld Esports, a local Turkish esports organization.
According to VLR.gg, an esports statistics site, Luie participated in a total of 38 professional VALORANT matches throughout her career.
Tragically, she became one of over 50,000 casualties in the early February 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
After the earthquake hit, her family, friends, and fellow members of the Turkish VALORANT community sought assistance, expressing their concern that Luie appeared to be alive and capable of making a phone call.
Reports indicated she was trapped for over 40 hours without rescue. However, the confirmation of her death came on 8 February.
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.