Riot pays in-game tribute to Turkish VALORANT pro who died in earthquake

Gizem 'Luie' Harmankaya was one of the many victims of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria back in February.

Gizem "Luie" Harmankaya is the first VALORANT pro to have her name integrated into the game. (Photo: Turgutlu Bld Esports; Riot Games)

VALORANT developer Riot Games has paid tribute to a VALORANT pro who died in the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria last February.

Nearly three months after her untimely death, the devs have memorialised Gizem "Luie" Harmankaya in the game with a player card title that can be unlocked for free by all players for the Episode Six, Act Three Battle Pass.

VALORANT’s Global Community Manager, Jo-Ellen Aragon, also made the announcement on Twitter after the game’s patch 6.08’s release, saying it was a “very special tribute in memory of Gizem”.

Players can earn and equip the Gizem player title after reaching the fifth tier of the current battle pass.

Tier five player titles are available to all players and do not require the purchase of a battle pass to unlock. The pass will be live for at least two months.

Player Titles are typically shown beneath a player's in-game name in the lobby and on the loading screen for a match.

They are usually obtained through Battle Pass progression, Agent contract progression, code redemption, or by participating in and winning professional VALORANT tournaments.

Gizem "Luie" Harmankaya's career history

Luie is the first VALORANT pro to have her name integrated into the game.

Luie was a Turkish VALORANT player who played for the Turkish teams Galakticos Sirens, Unknownpros Female, and Vivace Vista in the European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) Valorant Game Changers circuit.

Since 2021, when she began her career on Galakticos, she has competed at the highest professional level in VALORANT.

She then moved to Valstars Gaming Female, where the team competed in the VCT Game Changers EMEA Series III and 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.

Luie recorded a total of 38 professional VALORANT matches, according to esports stats site

She was one of more than 50,000 people killed in earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in early February 2023.

Luie was a resident of Turkey's Kahramanmaraş region when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Turkey and Syria on 6 February.

Her family, friends, and members of the Turkish VALORANT community asked for help, saying that the pro seemed to be alive and able to dial the phone.

She was said to have been trapped for more than 40 hours with no rescue. Her death was confirmed 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.

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