Counter-Strike veteran Cédric ‘RpK’ Guipouy confirmed on Thursday that he is bringing an end to his playing career in the popular first-person shooter franchise.
The 32-year-old, known in the Counter-Strike scene as ‘The Tank’, will start his own company in the automobile industry – which has long been a passion for him.
RpK was released from his contract with Vitality on August 26, four months after being moved to the bench to make way for rising French talent Jayson ‘Kyojin’ Nguyen Van.
He spent that time on the sidelines mulling over his future, with the lack of options in the Counter-Strike scene ultimately making him put a stop to his career.
“It is clear that it is something big because something that I’ve been doing for many years ends here today,” he told Dexerto. “But all this has taught me a lot and it was a real pleasure.
“I completely believed I could have continued a little longer because I still feel fresh and in shape. As long as you feel ready you can go on.”
Today marks the end of a long & beautiful career. It started long ago, had ups & downs, but I always loved it.I'm greatful for your support over the years, I won't forget it ❤️
— Cédric Guipouy (@RpKTANKK) September 2, 2021
RpK’s career began in 2007 in Counter-Strike: Source. He played for a number of top French teams over the next five years before transitioning to CS:GO as part of the famed VeryGames roster, which had many intense duels with NIP in the game’s infancy.
With the scene being relatively small at the time and sponsors scarce, RpK put his gaming career on hold in early 2013 to work with his father as a car mechanic to be able to make ends meet. He would return to action almost two years later with Titan in the wake of the infamous cheating scandal involving Hovik ‘KQLY’ Tovmassian.
His journey then took him to G2, Envy, and, finally, Vitality in late 2018. It was with the latter team, headlined by superstar Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut, that RpK enjoyed the most successful period of his career. He won several international events and finally made it out of the groups at a Major after eight unsuccessful attempts.
Although he was never a star player in any of his CS:GO teams, his reliability with rifles and longevity made him one of the most respected figures in the scene. He was one of the rare examples of esports players still competing at the highest level while in their thirties.
“Honestly, I’m quite happy with my career,” he said. “Despite some difficult moments, I kept fighting, and I was always focused on what I had to do.
“To be honest, I could have continued to try to win a Major. I would have liked to have won one. That would have been the cherry on top of the cake.”
To commemorate his esports journey, RpK has released, in collaboration with his agency, Prodigy, his own line of merchandise with several items.
“It’s a project that I had wanted to do for some time and I’m super excited to launch my own merch,” he said. “Being “The Tank” is something that I will always be proud of, and I’m glad to have my own brand and clothes to remember it all my life!
“I hope the public will like it as much as I do.”
RpK has come back from retirement once, so there will be those thinking that this might not be a farewell but a see you soon.
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Questioned if he might return to esports one day, perhaps in a management position, ‘The Tank’ did not rule anything out.
“I doubt it’s possible that people will see me in esports anytime soon,” he said, before adding: “But as they always say and as the people who know me are aware of, nothing is impossible.”