spoke with tex of Leviatán, following their Masters Shanghai opening contest against the Pacific League’s Gen.G.

Leviatán did not have the start they hoped for at Masters Shanghai. Ian "tex" Botsch and company fell in a three-map series to Gen.G. This puts them one loss away from elimination.

Despite the defeat, tex's head is still high. We spoke with him following the match about his rise to the VCT and how the series went down in his eyes.

LEV tex discusses the series versus Gen.G and moving to VCT from Tier 2 NA

(Photo by Liu YiCun/Riot Games)
(Photo by Liu YiCun/Riot Games)

"We’ll get to the series in a second, but you’ve played internationally before with Ascension and Superdome, but this is your first Tier 1 VCT global tournament. How does it compare to those others, in terms of nerves, stakes, etc.?"

tex: "Yeah, definitely a lot more on the line. Definitely playing way better teams. I think that's really the biggest difference for me, is playing the way better teams."

"Alright, well, there are a lot of familiar faces in Shanghai. Your old teammates on G2, T1 who you faced at the Ludwig x Tarik event, then you’ve got the likes of Rossy and eeiu from the Challengers days. I’d like to know your thoughts on this current generation of top-level VALORANT talent, having come up with a lot of them?"

tex: "It's cool seeing all the Tier 2 NA players finding their ways. Rossy on T1, G2 you know, my old boys. Myself on LEV. It's definitely cool seeing the game evolve. It's sad seeing the OG players, like NRG for example, not being here, but it's definitely cool. It shows you how the game is really evolving."

(Photo by Reece Martinez/Riot Games)
(Photo by Reece Martinez/Riot Games)

"And when it comes to your transition into Tier 1, how would you say you’ve evolved as a player? What do you feel you’ve done to prove yourself?"

tex: "I definitely think I'm way better than I used to be in Tier 2. I learned a lot playing, even this game, just at Ascension LAN, for example. I think I've really come way further, with my fundamentals, my mechanics, being a good teammate. Those are some things that I've definitely evolved, and I've just got to continue to get better."

"Okay, let’s talk about the match. It was a tough loss to start the tournament. Coming all the way from America to China, how much did that travel play a part in the team’s prep for a Gen.G team that traveled a far less distance?"

tex: "The jet lag is definitely hitting us, but you know, we can't use that as an excuse. We're still competing on the same stage as them. They do have that advantage, but it doesn't matter. They still played amazing and we should have played better. That's really all it is, at the end of the day."

(Photo by Reece Martinez/Riot Games)
(Photo by Reece Martinez/Riot Games)

"So, Icebox was a great showing for the team. Was there anything that went right on that map, that you feel Gen.G picked up on to counter in the following maps?"

tex: "It's hard to tell. They play very different on all the maps. It's just that on Icebox, we had a really good idea of how they play, and I think we counted it pretty well with our utility, with our spacing, with how we were playing. Then Lotus, obviously, it's a really good map for them. So, it was tough.

"They found their stride, they were playing really well. And Breeze, they just have a really interesting style, that they play really, really well. And we just didn't adapt to the post-plants. We just didn't adapt to their lurks. We just couldn't adapt in time."

"For the full series, you performed well, but obviously, it is a team game. With those last two maps going the way they did, what’s the feeling like, having a good series in terms of numbers, but with the results not there for the rest of the squad?"

tex: "It doesn't matter. I could be plus 30 or minus 30. It doesn't matter, if we lose as a team, you lose as a team. I made just the same amount of mistakes as my teammates did and it is a team game, really. So, I'm not really worried about my individual performance. Obviously, it's nice to perform well, but it doesn't matter if we lose. So, yeah, it doesn't really matter to me."

(Photo by David Lee/Riot Games)
(Photo by David Lee/Riot Games)

"Despite the final score of each map, there were a lot of close rounds. Many of them ended with just one player alive for either team, or even none with the Spike going off. Did it feel close in the server?"

tex: "Yeah, it definitely felt very close. They had some dominant rounds, but there was a lot of close rounds in this game. Especially on Lotus and Breeze. That's kind of what we used to motivate each other in the game. Like, 'Yo, those are close rounds. We can keep it up. Keep it up, we can grind these out.'
And it just didn't go our way."

"When it comes to those close rounds against a team like Gen.G, what's the biggest factor you feel would have prevented them from taking it and given you the edge?"

tex: "It was just small individual things from all the players, you know? Maybe better spacing, maybe two guys sort of grouped together and did something. And that's really it. I mean, maybe a little better individual play from all of us. To group together or do whatever. Good teams like Gen.G will take advantage of any mistake you make, and that's just how it is."

(Photo by David Lee/Riot Games)
(Photo by David Lee/Riot Games)

"Well, the team moves to the lower rounds of the Swiss Stage. There’s still that chance to bounce back and make the playoffs. What’s that bounce back look like for you, personally, and for LEV as a team?"

tex: "Personally, I just have to improve. I've got to learn from what just happened and just keep it up. Just try to play good, individually. And as a team, we've just got to bounce back. Really review what went wrong and play together more. Hype each other up more. Just get the momentum rolling, really. That was the biggest thing."

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