On Wednesday, June 12, the poker community received some very disturbing news that one of their own, Liliya “Liay5” Novikova had passed away at the young age in an accident at her home. The esports player and renowned Twitch streamer was found deceased in the bathtub by an elderly neighbor at her parents’ apartment. According to a report by the BBC, the Russian poker start died after suffering “a fatal electric shock while using a hair dryer in the flat, where she lived with her parents.” The report also revealed that there was no suspicion of any foul play with the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) confirming that her death was indeed a result of electrocution.
Liay5 was one of the most popular poker streams, especially among the Russian speaking community. She was even once signed with PokerStars as a Team Online pro back in 2015 when she was only 22 years old – not many people have come even close to achieving the Supernova status on PokerStars at that age.
Boasting of just a little under $100,000 in live tournament earnings, Liliya Novikova’s budding poker career was mostly focused on online platforms such as Twitch where she had 24,626 followers. As a matter of fact, she was streaming poker games regularly even before she passed on – the last stream she posted was only two days before the sad news broke.
Poker aside, Novikova was a mathematics whiz-kid with a first-class degree in engineering from a top Russian University. A number of leading industrial companies offered her jobs but she shunned all of them and instead opted to become a professional poker player – she loved the game that much.
Poker Community Reacts
When the tragic news became public, a number of well-known poker players and Twitch poker personalities, as well as her fans, took to Twitter to express their heartfelt condolences.
“Incredibly sad to hear Liay ‘liay5’ Novikova passed away due to a home accident. She had such a good influence on the poker/twitch community through her hard work and efforts. I’ve always admired all the many different things she did. What a tragic loss, and so young. RIP,” Lex Veldhuis, one of the top names in the poker community, wrote on Twitter.
Liv Boeree, a Team Pokerstars Pro player also sent her condolence upon receiving the news. She said it was very heartbreaking that the poker community and the world as a whole had lost such a sweet, beautiful and talented goal who had worked so hard to promote the game of poker.
May she Rest In Peace.