Despite Evil Geniuses’ shortcomings, Demon1 is proving to be a rising star and spoke with about his entrance into the spotlight.

The newest rising star in the VALORANT Champions Tour is Max "Demon1" Mazanov. The Evil Geniuses player was added to the team after excelling in open tryouts. In the middle of the Week 2 match versus 100 Thieves, he replaced Brendan "BcJ" Jensen and has started ever since.

Demon1 has slotted in to a few different roles, but his Jett play is where he shines. With the Operator or the Bladestorm Ultimate, he's a couple of mouse-clicks away from a highlight reel moment. EG unfortunately fell to FURIA in Week 4, but he took the time to speak with us after a solid performance.

Demon1 details his move to the starting EG roster, what he brings to the team, and more

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"Even though you didn't play the entire series versus 100 Thieves, you've now played against all three regions represented at VCT Americas. What are some of the biggest differences you've noticed between how they all play?"

Demon1: "I would say NA play kind of slow and the LATAM teams, they play a pretty fast pace. They full send with their util and all that. FURIA definitely was more sending it with their Skye. They play different comps and they would like explode and pop more, compared to KRÜ, who were more predictable. That's like the biggest difference, Skye versus Sova. So, we were able to read KRÜ more than FURIA."

"It really feels like Evil Geniuses is starting to figure things out after getting that first victory last week and keeping it very tight against FURIA. I don't want to call BcJ the problem, obviously, since he's an incredible VALORANT player. But do you feel like after entering the starting lineup, that you were at least part of the solution?"

Demon1: "I definitely bring the fragging power to the team that they're lacking, but I'm sure there's other things that can go into it. We're still getting more reps together as a team. Give us more time to get more scrims together. We'll be better."

"Well, I spoke with coach Potter after your debut. She mentioned how impressed she was with you in scrims and that you playing was in the works for a couple of weeks. When exactly did you find out that you would sub in against 100 Thieves?"

Demon1: "It was around April 1. I found out like a day before that, maybe on the 31st."

"Let's rewind then and talk about you joining the team in the first place. When they informed you that you'd be on the roster for the 2023 VCT, what were the expectations? What were you promised and how does that compare to what is reality?"

Demon1: "Well, at first I was just more of a sixth man to play for a couple maps. And then it was more of a transition after fully replacing BcJ. I was scrimming with the team for specific maps. It was Split and Icebox, and now I just play on every map."

"One of things we heard a lot about was your Jett play. Attack, defense, whatever the case, you've shown some insane aggression, taking space, and punishing your opponents. There are times you have to slow things down, however, such as when you play Killjoy or Brimstone. How do you adjust to those roles and make sure you aren't playing them like you would Jett?"

Demon1: "I just kind of know when to go aggro and when not to. I have a good read on the game, so that helps out a lot. Just having in the back of your mind what role you're playing."

(Photo by Christian Betancourt/Riot Games)
(Photo by Christian Betancourt/Riot Games)

"In a close game like this one against FURIA, you know, hindsight is 20/20. Do you feel like you everything you could to help Evil Geniuses in the series?"

Demon1: "There were definitely a couple unlucky rounds. I could have done more, way more. I feel I could have played way better. Definitely could have."

"A bit of self-reflection or critique if you're willing then. What would you have liked to do better and see as something that needs improvement going forward?"

Demon1: "More of picking my spots on defense, like where to go. A lot of the rounds, I wasn't seeing anyone on defense on my Jett maps. So I guess maybe, just being more aggro and stuff on defense. I started going more aggro towards the last rounds on Haven. If I would've started off doing that, I feel like we would've been in a better spot, getting more reads on them."

"Things aren't getting any easier with LOUD next in this super week, then of course you've got the rest of the field to play until the league ends. Once it does come to its conclusion, what would you like to have accomplished during VCT Americas?"

Demon1: "I haven't really thought about that, but I definitely want to prove myself as a top player. A top Jett."

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