Carpe is back: Former Overwatch star is seizing the day in VALORANT

Could he write his name in VALORANT history too?

T1's Carpe looks at his monitor on stage at VCT Pacific in Seoul, South Korea.
Photo via Riot Games/VCT Pacific

If you’ve been a fan of competitive Overwatch for any length of time, you’ve probably heard Carpe’s name mentioned when discussing some of the best players to ever touch the game.

The Korean star was known as one of the most consistent in the world before he made the decision to retire after the 2022 Overwatch League season and switch games. He now competes in VALORANT and recently put up one of his best performances since joining the scene.

Though it took him a bit of time to get settled on the VCT stage, he now looks more comfortable than ever. After T1’s match this week, he was awarded the match MVP by the analyst desk.

Image via Riot Games/VCT Pacific

Carpe made history in the Overwatch League with a couple of key milestones—he was the first player ever to reach 4,000 total final blows and was also the only player in the league to ever play for the same team from the league’s inaugural season to his retirement. Carpe was on his team from 2017 to 2022, amounting to just over five years of being signed with the Philadelphia Fusion.

Those five years didn’t go to waste when Carpe decided to kick off his VALORANT career. The organization that managed the Philadelphia Fusion—now known as the Seoul Infernal—is T1, the team Carpe now represents today each week on the VCT stage.

T1 moved both its professional Overwatch and professional VALORANT teams to Seoul, South Korea in the offseason for both games. The organization already had its well-known League of Legends team based in Korea, so having all three teams for these major titles based in the same place seems like a no-brainer.

Not to mention, T1’s VALORANT team already had a strong foundation, building off of Carpe’s fellow former Overwatch League stars Munchkin and Sayaplayer. Add in Korean-American player ban, who T1 brought with them in the move from North America, former Cloud9 player xeta, and a fresh-faced iNTRO, and T1’s roster was looking fantastic to start the VCT Pacific League season.

Photo via Riot Games/VCT Pacific

Unfortunately, it took a while for the squad to live up to their expectations. Though they performed well, they haven’t been up to the high standard set by fellow Korean rosters DRX and Gen.G. But with Gen.G faltering in their last few matches, T1 seems to be stepping up at the perfect time.

In their most recent match against Team Secret, a team from the Philippines with an impressive resumé full of international experience, T1 looked the best they have all season. Much of this was due to Carpe.

In the Overwatch League, Carpe was known as a Damage player with impressive aim and incredible game sense. He particularly excelled on hitscan heroes like Cassidy and Widowmaker, as well as Tracer.

Though his aiming skills have translated smoothly to VALORANT, the game functions very differently from Overwatch, and Carpe has slotted into a somewhat different role.

His teammate Sayaplayer was also known as a hitscan specialist during his time playing professional Overwatch, and he now plays the duelist role for T1’s VALORANT team. Xeta, with his high level of experience in the game, is T1’s in-game leader. Ban has been playing controller. This leaves Carpe mostly playing the initiator role.

Carpe has been performing fine so far, but something seemed to click this week, especially when he played Skye. This is extra impressive because the agent’s utility is some of the hardest to maneuver in the game.

He also put up a great performance on the game’s newest character, Gekko. Few players around the world, and even fewer in the Pacific League, have been able to successfully integrate Gekko into the established meta. Carpe might have had one of the best performances yet on the new agent.

He’s also brought his A-game to Twitter after the match:

As an initiator, Carpe’s role is slightly different now than the position he used to fill when he played for the Philadephia Fusion, but it isn’t entirely foreign. As Tracer, Carpe used to begin engagements with his team by starting a fight and picking off an enemy first. Tracer players also often scout for information by moving to flanking areas of the map.

In VALORANT, he continues to make those initial engagements in fights and provides information for his team. He seems to be adapting to this role nicely.

If T1 continue their current trajectory, the team should have no problem making it into the VCT Pacific League playoffs and could even have a chance at one of the coveted spots at Masters Tokyo in June.

About the author
Nadine Manske

Nadine is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She covers VALORANT and Overwatch with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and marginalized genders in esports. Before joining Dot Esports as a freelance writer, she interned at Gen.G Esports and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her favorite Pokémon is Quagsire.