Unforgettable: Carpe's Revenge Of Silver
Time halts for no one. That endless march, the unforgiving chase, and the eventual end. Slowly bleeding out to a clock that taunts us all, continuing to tick whether you're on your feet or not. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but what sits in front of Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok is a platter, warm with opportunity.
Gold may have eluded him throughout his illustrious five-year career in the Overwatch League but VALORANT is the new growth sprouting from an untended garden. Five years marching, five years chasing, only to realise the pace isn't feasible.
Carpe's swan song has been sung but in this death, new, vibrant life emerges. He will find his revenge against the clock, his defiant destiny, and his relief from silver.
To seek revenge means to right a wrong done to you and with how many near-misses Carpe has had, retribution is undoubtedly in order.
2020's summer stretch into the playoffs.
The inaugural grand finals in 2018.
Even going back to his time with FaZe Clan during Overwatch Contenders.
Countless times Carpe has glimpsed glory only to be sent home with silver. This step back from Overwatch is the key to the shackle of his past. The looming presence of never hoisting that trophy. That sense of guilt to the fans and friends that supported him. The expectations placed on him. Not too often do you get a clean slate in life, and while this isn't completely clean, there certainly is some room to breathe.
The wrongdoing here is the torture of the carrot on the stick.
In some sense, it is ironic that the man whose handle translates to "seize" or "to gather or pluck" in Latin has yet to cultivate a championship for himself. Unable to pick flowers from his own garden, never striking when the iron is its hottest. However, it remains fitting due to his persistence.
Five long and beautiful years is an eternity in esports and Carpe has blessed us with a bushel of gifts. The soaring highs in "The Big Apple" and the desperate lows of windowshopping the playoffs, Carpe's career has seen it all. Now he's taken control of his destiny. With both hands, he tosses out the old in place of the new. Carpe has seized his destiny and he will have his revenge.
It's bittersweet to see someone like Carpe go. One of the last of his kind, his debut pre-dating the Overwatch League, his highlights, his moments in the clutch to bring his team back from the brink, but time halts for no one.
His retirement can be viewed as a memento mori, a sobering reminder of the transience of life. Trees bloom in the spring and fall during the autumn, for every start, there is an end. However, in his case, he's found a new place to plant his roots, a new home to chase perfection.
Carpe's journey into VALORANT isn't without its familiarity. Shouldering up next to former Seoul Dynasty DPS Byeon "Munchkin" Sang-beom and Florida Mayhem ace Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo, he will be amongst some of his peers and rivals from his past to forge a new future for himself and for T1.
Breaking new ground isn't easy and it's likely that the transition will be with its growing pains, but veterans of any sort have a knack for adaptation and Carpe is no different.
Toothless may be fitting for the Overwatch legend, one of the greats to never score a championship, but that does not mean he is without claws. VALORANT is a new environment, with new tools needed to win, ones that Carpe may have built up across his adolescence in the Overwatch League.
The unfettered motivation from someone who has never felt the relief of champions should not be understated. To chase mastery of any kind is the undertaking of a lifetime. To become the world's best, out of everyone, you stand among the top of your field. It's inspiring to think about even pursuing such a task. Think of the sacrifice, the drive that is needed, and the courage to say "enough" and shift lanes.
Yet think of those who have taken that step forward. The ones brave enough to chase their dream against the odds. For them to put in tireless hours of practice and review only to come just shy of their ultimate and glorious goal. It is heartbreaking but it is also the spawning ground of truth.
To go into deep waters, nearly drown, and ask for more.
We've all heard the hallowed and inspirational words of Muhammad Ali bad-mouthing George Foreman. He'd show the world how great he was. He didn't need followers or believers, it was in his words.
For us, we'd like to think Carpe has that same resolute mentality.
Champions tend to, whether their trophy case says it or not.
Time halts for no one and only the fool waits for the clock to stop.
The Philadelphia Fusion would not be the same without Carpe and the same undoubtedly could be said in reverse. The memories made stand through the erosion of history. All the unthinkable plays, the crushing defeats, and the journey we've been blessed to witness.
Carpe's Overwatch career is unforgettable but it will pale in comparison to what he'll accomplish in VALORANT.
Fight hard, Carpe.
Your revenge and your gold are right in front of you.
Reach out and take it.