Twisten received huge support from the VALORANT community.
On Feb. 25, Team Vitality’s journey at the 2023 VCT LOCK//IN tournament came to an end at the hands of Leviatán. It was a hard loss, falling 2-0 to the Latin-American squad.
Following the defeat, Karel “Twisten” Ašenbrener was late to the press conference, prompting speculation from VALORANT fans. While it wasn’t addressed in front of the media, the Czech player explained his delayed appearance, opening up about some personal struggles he has faced in a Twitlonger.
“I want to say sorry to the fans and my teammates I wasn’t there from the beginning of the press conference,” he wrote, explaining that he took the loss “hard” and didn’t want to cry in the press conference, even though it’s a “normal thing.”
The 19-year-old stated he has been suffering from depression for over two years, and that he went through a “hard time” in his personal life during Red Bull Home Ground. His depression “escalated” when his teammates returned home for Christmas and New Year, and Twisten self-harmed, and says he considered “ending it all.”
The Czech says his father saved him, and he spent a few days in a mental health hospital, after which he had a “fresh start.”
Twisten shared his love for both his teammates and Team Vitality, who he says were there for him throughout this period. “They were there standing behind me and [supporting] me throughout all the shit I have been through,” he wrote. “If I wanted to use all the praise words in the whole English dictionary, it wouldn’t still be enough… They deserve all the love and happiness in the world, and I will be forever thankful for them.”
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He ended the statement by saying he was doing great now, despite Vitality’s previous defeat. He thanked fans for their support and said he was going to fight for the team, the org, and himself to “prove to the world what we are capable of as a team, and what I’m capable of as a person and player.”
Following his statement, Twisten received an outpouring of love from the VALORANT community, with casters, players, and fans all showing support for the Vitality player.
Team owner Fabien “Neo” Devide told Twisten that was a “true warrior,” and emphasized that the team love him, while caster Ballatw shared how proud he was of the 19-year-old for opening up about how he felt.
Team Vitality also posted a statement on the situation, writing that they support Twisten and condemn any malicious comments made against him.
“The club and those around him are working closely together to ensure he is happy, healthy, and supported,” they wrote. “Mental health is an extremely important topic in the esports industry and we should all stay human and vigilant to best protect our peers.”
Team Vitality now has a month to train before heading to their next matches when the 2023 VCT EMEA League kicks off at the end of March.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. A list of international crisis resources can be found here.