Melanie “meL” Capone is the IGL of Version1 VALORANT and one of the most decorated competitive players in North America.
Before she joined joined Version1, meL was IGL for Cloud9 White, where she led her team to victory in six consecutive North American Game Changers tournaments. As V1 VALORANT prepares for the upcoming season, meL reflects on her growth as a player, her leadership style, and her plans for building the next VALORANT dynasty with Version1.
A New Chapter for meL
For meL, joining Version1 VALORANT feels like the beginning of a new era in her already storied esports career.
“I feel like the time I spent on Cloud9 White was almost like a tutorial for being a professional gamer,” says meL.
“We achieved incredible results with that roster, but I’ve never been as motivated as I am now to continue pushing the boundaries of what I can achieve.”
haven’t done one of these in 2 years *_*
full vid + hq: https://t.co/s4FlzleeXr pic.twitter.com/dtBx2ug6KM
— V1 meL (@melanji) February 21, 2023
The achievements of the old Cloud9 White roster are impressive, but meL notes that it was “a learning process that didn’t go as quickly as I think it could have, and it took a long time for me come into my own as a serious competitor.”
One of meL’s former Cloud9 White teammates, alexis, is also part of V1 VALORANT. After the two players signed with V1 and started practicing together, meL quickly realized that sharing what the two of them had learned while playing on their previous team helped jump-start the development of V1’s roster.
“We’re able to use the experiences we had, everything we figured out through trial-and-error, to help this team avoid the mistakes I often see younger groups of players making,” says meL.
“Communication Is The Foundation”
As IGL of V1 VALORANT, the first thing meL focused on was building strong communication habits. “This is the most fundamental skill you need to have if you want to compete at the highest level,” she says.
“There are two different types of comms,” says meL. “You have action comms and info comms. Info comms are straightforward. You’re telling the team that there’s a player somewhere or that someone used an ability. Action comms are all about what you’re doing with the information you have at your disposal.”
“Let’s say someone calls out that Jett is swinging B main solo,” meL explains. “An action comm would be ‘florescent, double peek with me.’ It doesn’t matter if you have good info comms if you struggle with action comms. That’s why my first priority [with V1 VALORANT] was working on action comms as a group, and I was blown away by how fast everyone understood that this type of communication is the foundation for your success in every part of the game.”
Check Your Ego At The Door
When V1 VALORANT’s star-studded roster was assembled, meL noticed something unusual about this highly-skilled group of players. “Every single person on this team is willing to put their ego aside for the good of the team,” she says. “It was a pleasant surprise for me, to be honest. They’re some of the most humble people I’ve ever met.”
joined @version1gg 💜
really excited to build and work with everyone on this roster, ready to do some damage in 2023 https://t.co/oV44UX4Ric
— V1 meL (@melanji) January 9, 2023
“Everyone is open to feedback and criticism,” says meL. “They seek it out constantly because they know that the advice they get from the rest of the team is going to help them improve. When you have this type of atmosphere, people aren’t afraid to make mistakes.”
For meL, establishing trust between teammates is the key to finding long-term success.
“I always trust my teammates to make the best decision in the moment. If someone makes a mistake that loses a round, I never want that mistake to be hesitation. I want it to be a choice that player made, so that when we’re watching the VOD later, we can have an objective discussion about why that decision didn’t work out. If the only thing we can point out is that you hesitated, that’s not going to help you make better decisions down the road.”
The Future of VALORANT
The next generation of VALORANT competitors has arrived on the competitive circuit, and these young superstars are already shattering public perception of the game’s skill ceiling is.
“I feel like a boomer sometimes,” meL says, laughing. One of these young players is V1 VALORANT’s florescent, who quickly rose to prominence on the back of her incredible LAN performances last year.
FLYWAY X USING YOUhttps://t.co/GZhAiEoHTQhttps://t.co/GZhAiEoHTQhttps://t.co/GZhAiEoHTQ pic.twitter.com/rIIe9OkZrM
— V1 florescent (@florscnt) February 6, 2023
“These young players, and florescent especially, are bringing the level of play in the VALORANT scene to the next level. I’m blown away by her raw skill. Watching her continuously improve alongside the rest of the team has been amazing. When you have a player like flor on your team, the entire team gets energized. And your opponents get scared.”
Looking ahead at the upcoming VALORANT Game Changers season, meL’s confidence in the roster is high.
“We’re ready to dominate the circuit,” says meL.
Version1 VALORANT is competing in the LAN finals of Astral Clash on March 11th. You can learn more about Astral Clash by visiting their website.
Follow meL on Twitter here.
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