Esports.gg sat down with C0M of Evil Geniuses after his team improved its record to 4-4 following a victory over MIBR.

Evil Geniuses is one of the most interesting stories in all of VCT Americas. The expectations versus the reality is as far apart as it could be. This is a group that has consistently had their backs against the wall, but have not given up. And Corbin "C0M" Lee has not taken that for granted.

He is well aware of who he was compared to who he has become in competitive VALORANT. Esports.gg spoke with him after a statement victory over MIBR. C0M dove into his transition from Tier 2 to Tier 1, what the team has accomplished and can still accomplish, plus more.

C0M opens up about his move from the Tier 2 scene and what's kept EG in the running

(Image via Nerd Street Gamers/Akrew)
(Image via Nerd Street Gamers/Akrew)

"I'd like to start a bit further back, when you were with Akrew. That team dominated the Tier 2 scene with a massive winning streak that involved both online and offline victories. The VALORANT landscape has drastically changed since then, so I'd like to ask. From then to now, how have you managed to evolve alongside the game you compete in?"

C0M: "I was an IGL back in Akrew and now I've stepped into a role where I'm doing more mid-rounding and I'm more of support role. Honestly, I feel like I've adjusted in the way that I always dreamed I would, where I would always progress.

"Whether it be my utility, my calling, any of the intangibles of the game pretty much. And going from Akrew to EG is a huge step for me, and this past year I've learned so much about the game and so much about just everything to do with the esports space and I'm truly thankful for that."

"To build on that, aside from the obvious answers like higher-skilled players, the schedule, and the amount of eyes on your games, what's the biggest difference from the Tier 2 grind to the VCT?"

C0M: "In VCT, you have a whole week to prepare for a match. You have a lot of things that you want to do in the match and you're prepared for the team, anti-strats, all that sort of stuff. Right? And then in Tier 2 it was more like, you play eight games in a day and it'd be a 12 hour day. You're constantly grinding, you've got to be at your best.

"So, going from Tier 2 to Tier 1, in Tier 2 I was conditioned a lot, where I had to be at my best constantly. So, I think that's amazing for the Tier 2 scene. Then in the Tier 1 scene now, where it's like, you have to be good for three hours. You have to have a good routine and a good meal plan, all that sort of stuff to be ready in that one game.

"You're just preparing all that week for that one game. So, I think that's a big difference and you become a lot more confident in what you're doing every single round. Whereas in Tier 2, you're going against different comps and just a ton of random stuff as well."

(Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games)
(Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games)

"Well, let's talk about the now. Before the match, we saw Sideshow draw a line that represented the hype level for Evil Geniuses week by week. It skyrocketed after the Sentinels series. How's the hype directly within EG now after sweeping MIBR?"

C0M: "I mean <laugh>, it's definitely high. Going from 1-4 to 4-4 is not easy, especially in a game like VALORANT where just one round can turn a whole game, you know? We're super hype to be 4-4 now, coming from a 1-4 record, and especially after getting 13-0'd by LOUD. So, I would say it's a huge improvement.

"The mental strength of this team is insane and we work to continue to build on that. It's crazy. There's three teams that are 4-4 now and you never know. Leviatán and NRG, they're both playing LOUD and C9, which are two of the top teams in the league. So, it could be a big brawl for that last playoff spot. We're glad we're in that brawl and we're glad that we're here to compete."

"And in the match, the first map was the only time the team has played Lotus at all. It was also the first time you've played Breach in VCT Americas. Tell me about your approach to playing Breach, especially as your debut with the Agent in the league, on a map where's he been pretty vital."

C0M: "I think I've always been like a staple support player, where I can fill any role and I can help a team with either my intangibles or my support util. I played Breach back in the early iteration of EG, so I have a lot of experience there. In this iteration I haven't played as much, but I think you could see it a little bit more often.

"And I have a lot of confidence in my Breach. In the old iteration of EG, I felt like the best Breach in America, honestly. I feel like my util shows that. And the way I play the Agent, I feel very confident in. So I'm glad I was able to show a good side of myself today and hopefully I can show more as the league continues."

(Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games)
(Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games)

"Back to Sova on Fracture. You killed Jawgemo with your Hunter's Fury, so I've got to ask. Did he say anything to you after that? Did you at least apologize?"

C0M: "I don't think he said anything, but I was like, 'I'm so sorry,' <laugh>. In the middle of the round, I was just like, 'I'm so sorry, bro.' <laugh>."

"On a more serious note, Evil Geniuses obviously hasn't been the number one team in the league. It looked like quite the struggle at times, from a spectator standpoint. There's a few things, such as starting Demon1, the influence of coach Potter, and the high-level VALORANT experience brought to the team by Ethan. What all has been the glue to keep Evil Geniuses from falling apart?"

C0M: "I think it's just the mental strength of the people around. We've been through so much as a team. To be honest, if people knew what me, Jawgemo, and Boostio have gone through as players to get to this point, they would be surprised. They'd be like, 'Wow, they've been through that.'

"And honestly, I'm thankful for those experiences. That really made our mental very strong and even when we're down 1-4, we know we can still come back. We know we can still make it to Tokyo even at that record. So, I think a lot of people were counting us out and, obviously I think they had good reason to at that time, but I'd say now you can't count us out at all."

(Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games)
(Photo by Marv Watson/Riot Games)

"Tell me about that then. You've been through a lot, as you said. Obviously, you can't always speak on behalf of someone else, but from your perspective. Fill us in on what you have been through and how that's led you to this point."

C0M: "I can say for myself at least, back in Akrew, when that whole thing went down, it was a really unfortunate circumstance. I don't want to say who messed up and what, but again, that happened and I was broken after that.

"I'll tell you, I was in my apartment just like, 'Man, what just happened?' I don't know, but I would say after joining EG and making runs and having regained my confidence as a player, it's just been huge for me. I think it's a testament to what I've gone through in my past."

"Next week is a tough challenge against NRG. We heard Demon1's confidence in the post-match interview on the broadcast. With it being the final match of the regular season, what are you hoping to accomplish?"

C0M: "Obviously, make playoffs, secure that. I think even the score against 'em. We're 1-1 right now against that core and we want to be 2-1. We want to show that we are the better team and we deserve to be here. And you know, one day you're the hero for everyone, and then the next day you can be the villain. So, we really have to keep winning and keep grinding on and until we make it to Tokyo. Job's not done."

Stay tuned to esports.gg for more esports news and VALORANT coverage.