"I am just getting owned right now" - Leviatán C0M on his recent struggle with form, win against T1, and difference between aspas and Demon1

Leviatán C0M at VCT Masters Shanghai 2024 (Image via Riot Games)
Leviatán C0M at VCT Masters Shanghai 2024 (Image via Riot Games)

Leviatán has managed to keep itself alive at 2024's VCT Masters Shanghai after a dominant 2-0 win against T1 in the Swiss Stage. The third seed from the Americas region has had an inconsistent year in terms of competitive events. During Americas Stage 1, the team looked poised to lift the trophy until its collapse in the playoffs stage at the hands of 100 Thieves and G2 Esports. The squad also suffered a crushing defeat against Gen.G in the roster's opening match at the Masters Shanghai.

Corbin "C0M" Lee, one of the five defending world champions, has received quite a lot of criticism for his underperformance ever since he joined Leviatán. However, the American player showed glimpses of his former self in the May 26 game against T1. He displayed a particularly strong Cypher performance on Sunset.

After Leviatán picked up the win, Sportskeeda esports had the opportunity to have a conversation with the victorious C0M.

C0M talks about 2024 with Leviatán, the competitive nature of the pro scene, and more

Q: Congratulations on the victory! How are you feeling right now, as it seems like the team is starting to find its form again?

C0M: It felt good that we played confident like how we normally play. I think that's 70-80% of the level that we can show. I am pretty proud that we came in confident, especially after the previous game against Gen.G, and showed what we were able to do.

Q: Do you think this was the confidence that the team was missing against Gen.G, or were there any other reasons for the loss?

C0M: For sure. We played a lot differently than we usually played, especially in the second and third map. As we are getting into this tournament more and more, we are getting more comfortable on the stage. Overall, it's just about finding that consistency with everyone on the team.

Q: You mentioned earlier in the press conference that anyone can beat anyone at this tournament. Are you happy to see the level of the competitive state reach a point where there is no clear best team?

C0M: I think it's cool. I feel like last year, for me, there was a top four, where you knew that one of those four teams would win. I feel like this year, it's pretty random. I feel like any team can just come out of the gate, catch fire, and all of a sudden they are winning the tournament. It really depends on the day.

Overall, I feel like if you are shooting that day, then you are good. If you aren't, then tough luck. That's how the whole competitive level feels overall at the moment.

Q: Do you think teams improving upon their strategies and overall macro is another reason why the pro scene is very competitive right now?

C0M: Definitely. I feel like especially the Gekko meta has changed the game from slow and methodical to more emphasis on executes and making sure we have good executes the whole time. It's a lot harder to justify mid-rounding with Gekko coming into the meta, especially with Viper being nerfed. Overall, everyone is kind of feeling out the meta a little bit more.

Q: On the topic of Gekko, the Sunset team comp for Leviatán has tex playing Gekko while you are playing Cypher. The former is usually the Sentinel player for Leviatán while you are the Initiator. While you did play the Sentinel role in Akrew, it was a long time ago. Is there a particular reason for the switch-up on Sunset?

C0M: I think it's more of a comfort thing. For me, I played Sentinel roles, as you said, on Akrew. Ian (tex) is a lot more comfortable on Gekko than almost everyone else. I would just say that I wanted to do what was best for the team. I think it's cool to have that kind of diversity in my game.

Last year, I played mainly Sova and Viper. This year, I am playing a little bit more of Fade, Skye, Sova, Viper and Cypher. I have a little bit more diversity in my game, and I took on the challenge, and it's working out well so far.

Q: The retakes Leviatán had on Sunset were extremely good, considering T1 had a Sage. Was this an anti-strat the team had prepared for this map, or was it something that was prepared and adapted to on the fly?

C0M: I think teams that are execute-heavy are the type of teams I like playing against. It's because even when they pick Sage, you kind of know what they are going to do. I adapted my Cypher setups to their team composition pretty much. The coaching staff also helped us a lot with these kinds of things, so it kind of makes it easy on me.

Q: How has it been working with Leviatán so far as the team has a lot of players from different cultures?

C0M: I think it has been a huge challenge for me and kind of adapting who I am. I feel like I've had to take on different, as I said before, Agent roles and a different way to play and what's best for the team. It's kind of cool seeing myself slowly evolve. I wouldn't say I am fully there yet, but hopefully, throughout this tournament, we get to be more comfortable. It's super awesome, and I love talking to all the guys.

Q: Talking about your comfort with the team, there has been criticism regarding your recent form on social media. This was the first time since Kickoff where you had a positive K/D playing with Leviatán. Despite K/D not being the ultimate signifier of a player's impact, you have been noticeably struggling in terms of frags and the required impact from you in certain games.

Do you think Masters Shanghai will help you regain your old form and play better?

C0M: I hope so. I don't even know what's happening, man. *laughs*. I'm just like "Damn, I am getting owned right now". Honestly, it's just about finding my confidence again. My team hyping me up in that last game really helped me out too.

I am the "vibe merchant" of the team, and I just do my role. Obviously, I want to perform better, but right now, I am working towards that and hoping that I can get more confident day by day.

Q: Demon1 and aspas are considered two of the best Duelist in VCT history. You have had the chance to work with both of them. How does aspas differ from Demon1 in terms of his approach to the game as a Duelist?

C0M: I would say the difference with aspas is that he has a very specific routine. Honestly, watching him go through this routine every day, it is cool to see because coming from last year we were very laid back, and we had interviews where we said we don't care, and it was more like for fun. Whereas, this year, there are specific routines and more structure.

I always see aspas going through his routine and I think it's really cool. It's something I am definitely trying to take from him and find my own routine. Honestly, that's the big difference. Aspas has been playing pretty consistent this year, and Demon1 hasn't done that well, but I believe both of them are still the best Duelists in the game for sure.

Q: What's the ultimate goal for Leviatán in 2024? Do you have any particular expectations?

C0M: It's just about living in the moment for us right now. It's something that I have told the guys that no matter what happens, just play your best and live in the moment. I don't like setting expectations for us. The short term is to, obviously, make playoffs here and to gain experience on the international stage. It helps us further, as it will carry over to Americas Stage 2. It's a mix of all of that and slowly but surely getting into the form that we would like to play at.

Q: Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to the fans supporting you?

C0M: Thank you to all the fans supporting me. I know it's been a rough last couple of months, but I am working as hard as I possibly can. I appreciate all the people who are sticking with me and the people who are kind of leaving. I hope you all can come back.

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