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Esports Pro “Next1” Passes Away Following Battle with Covid-19

German Esports pro Arif “Next1” Keskin has died at the age of 24, with the former Chaos Esports and... David | 30. May 2021

German Esports pro Arif “Next1” Keskin has died at the age of 24, with the former Chaos Esports and Defusekids player having been diagnosed with Covid-19 just last month. The news comes as a shock, with Keskin having been posting on Twitter up until the middle of April, stating that he was on the mend.

On April 15, the German posted that staff at the hospital were “watching [his] health status really good (sic)”.” However, Rogue pro Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz announced that Next1 had been put into an induced coma shortly after this point.

How Next1 Made His Name in Esports

Next1 burst onto the scene in 2018 after playing in the German event, Six Lounge Series 6, which he featured in under the banner of Greedy Gaming. After going on to compete for lesser known teams, Next1 joined Chaos Esports, acting as a stand-in for the Pro League Season 10.

Speaking on the loss of Keskin, Chaos posted the following message on Twitter: “We’re very saddened to hear our former player [Next1] has tragically passed away. He was a great personality and we were honored to have him play under the Chaos banner.”
After winning Season 5 of the Benelux League, Next1 signed for Chaos on a permanent basis, helping them in winning the Nordic championship almost immediately. He was released at the beginning of 2021, with Chaos having finished the 2020 European League in 10th position. Such a finish led to their relegation to the Challenger League.

What the Esports Community Has Said About Next1

Fellow Rainbow Six pro Kevin “Sua” Stahnke was another to offer kind words on Next1, with the current G2 Esports analyst having written: “This morning a dear friend lost his fight to Covid. I am lost for words and can’t describe how i feel. There was so much we wanted to get done, so much we had planned. And now you’re gone. I am lost for words. Please take care after yourselves. Rest in Peace Arif”

A host of other players, broadcasters and content creators have also offered condolences to Keskin’s family.