Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee is often considered the best player in the Overwatch League. Many names are mentioned when considering such a title – JJONAK, Saebyeolbe, Fissure, Profit, Birdring – but Carpe has always stayed in the running, even when his team has struggled. Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore Carpe’s presence. Many teams have made that mistake – few have lived to tell the tale.
That’s not to say he does all this alone, of course. Overwatch is perhaps the most team-focused shooter ever, and the current triple-triple meta has only encouraged that tight-knit play style. When a fight is at its craziest, Carpe is often forced off of his signature, mechanically focused picks like Tracer and Widowmaker in favor of the ever-present Zarya.
With his role currently shifted – though he’s made plenty of cameos on his more familiar heroes in the first week of the Overwatch League – we felt that it might be a good idea to check in with Carpe and get a feel for how he’s stayed so sharp. Read on!
[This interview has been translated and edited for clarity.]
Your game against Atlanta was particularly close, and they’ve surprised a lot of people with their performance so far. What about their play impressed you the most? What weaknesses did you exploit to pull out the win?
Given that we played GOATS most of the time, I was often on Zarya, so I kept an eye on Dafran. He was mostly using his barriers for energy generation, not to save his teammates’ HP from our attacks. We abused that – we simply wouldn’t give him that energy [when he used his barriers.]
When he had Graviton Surge, he usually used it unpredictably. We only used our Gravitons when we had a D.Va bomb to combo with it – we would always communicate that we wanted that combo. Dafran was just using his quickly and unpredictably, and we caught onto that. We played with an awareness of that fact, and we played well because of it.
What allows you to make sense of the chaos when a fight is in full swing? How do you keep track of everything at once?
“During a fight, everything moves fast. I can’t get all of the information I might need on my own. All I can do is pay attention to my team’s communication to decide what I have to do.”
That seems to be paying off. How does it feel to start off the season 2-0? With a win against the Spitfire, no less?
[Philadelphia] is a very momentum-based team. We had tough matches this week, but getting two wins off of that is really good for us in that sense. We can use that momentum well.
What’s an aspect of your play that you were proud of in Week 1, and what’s something you think you need to work on in Week 2?
I communicated well with my teammates, which is always a good thing. What I’ll work on…sometimes, during the game, I lose focus a bit. I need to fix that.
After your game against the Spitfire, you got a bit spicy in your interview. Will we be seeing more trash talk (good-natured, of course) from you and the Fusion?
I had a couple goals I wanted to achieve with that speech. First, I wanted to show that my team is confident [in their capability this season], and then I also wanted to try and be spicy. I want some banter! I think that’s a good thing. I’m definitely gonna be more spicy in the future.
Anyone in particular you’re looking forward to trash talking?
Dallas Fuel’s coach, Jayne, said our GOATS is trash… Let’s put it this way. I hope he’s ready to lose against some trash GOATS.
Final question – I’m asking this more as a marker to check back on towards the end of the season, because it’s definitely too close to tell now. Are you the best player in the Overwatch League right now?
I can’t 100% say that I’m the best, because it’s early in the season, as you said. I think I am, kind of. I’m going to try harder to show that I’m clearly the best player.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment