C0M: "I think now people definitely realize to trust the process, trust the people, trust what people believe in"
VCT 2023 - Champions is all wrapped up after a phenomenal event in sunny Los Angeles. August blessed us with high-octane VALORANT action to determine the best team of VCT 2023. In the end, NA's Evil Geniuses defeated Paper Rex to lift the trophy at the Kia Forum in LA.
Following the matchup, our on-site journalist, Alisa, managed to get a couple words in with Corbin "C0M" Lee just a couple minutes after their triumph at the Kia Forum.
C0M was ecstatic, and yet a tiny bit shocked from disbelief. C0M had a lot to say about the matchup, the season, the support he received, as well as shared his thought on his favorite anime series for the anime fans out there.
Interview with C0M following VALORANT Champions victory
THESPIKE: Congratulations! How do you feel? What went through your mind the moment that you realized, "Oh my God, we are the VALORANT Champions of 2023?"
C0M: I think instantly I was like,"holy sh#t, wtf just happened?" Afterwards, I just thought about all the hard work that went into it. All the people that supported me and I was ugly crying on stage a little bit. I think all that together just came out.
THESPIKE: Do you think you had a lot of pent up emotions during the game?
C0M: Yeah definitely. In that last map when it got to 11-9 I thought, "Oh my God, it could happen now," and yeah I think it all just bundled up I think since Tokyo. I just wanted this to happen, and then yeah it happened.
THESPIKE: Your team has this amazing underdog story. You guys had a lot of haters along the way and I'm sure you heard a lot of negativity. How did you ignore the haters and make sure that didn't affect your mental?
C0M: I think I've dealt with it kind of thing my whole career. It's not something new to me. Definitely, when I was first added to EG and even when we first started franchising, everyone wanted me out. I think now people definitely realize to trust the process, trust the people, trust what people believe in, and I think I was at the low point, now I'm at the high point.
THESPIKE: Who is Coach Potter to you? What do you think her impact on your journey, not only as a team but also as an individual is?
C0M: For me, her trusting in me and becoming like, making me I guess a bottom tier player to best in the world now. And having that trust in me, made me confident in my own skills and own reads and everything. I think trust is something I never had in esports.
THESPIKE: You had some crazy, wrap arounds and clutches. You had so many times you just won the round for the time. Was it all a blur for you, did you prepare for that?
C0M: It's just something I've done my whole life I think, at least in esports. And people on Twitter would be like, "coaches just watch for his reflanks." And before the game, Paper Rex said, "don't you think about flanking," cause they knew about my shenanigans. I think it's just something I've done my whole life and in this game, and now just showing it on the big stage.
THESPIKE: Do you think PaperRex was starting to care a little too much about you coming behind them?
C0M: Uhm, maybe. They were definitely slower on rotating and slower on like kind of reacting to things. Maybe scared of what I was gonna, where I was. If they didn't have info on where I was, I could be through their spawn. You really don't know. I think maybe that. I'm not sure, I'd have to look back at the VOD and see.
THESPIKE: Your dad is notoriously so supportive of you, was it always that way? Or did you have to kind of show him that this was a possible career choice for you?
C0M: At the start, I was going to college at Texas A&M. It was hard for me to give up college for that time. I basically told my parents, give me a year. Let me figure it out. Let me get signed to a team, and you know. See what I can do with it. I think now they are very supportive of it. But I will say that back then, I understand that from their perspective it's like giving up a prestigious college and all this stuff to go pursue this extremely volatile game.
THESPIKE: In that one year, did you feel like you knew you were gonna accomplish it in a year, or was it like if it's not it, it's not it?
C0M: It was just a risk. I haven't taken a lot of risks in my life, kinda stayed on like a steady scale. So I was just like, this is something I just need to do and if I don't follow my passion then I don't want to think of the unknown. So this is just a testament of like, high risk, high reward.
THESPIKE: On a different note, I'm sure you heard Elon Musk was here. Do you feel like esports is becoming more main stream and if so, what are your thoughts on it?
C0M: That's crazy. Honestly, my teammates were talking about it and I was like, really? The fact, Elon Musk was here. I mean, I don't even know, that's just crazy in itself that that guy is so invested in esports and is clued in on it and stuff. Maybe, just maybe we're like the next mainstream sports.
THESPIKE: Lastly, let's talk anime. What are your top three anime?
C0M: Top three anime are HxH, Jujutsu Kaisen...Uh, the last one...I said something different at the press conference and now I don't remember. But probably Demon Slayer.
THESPIKE: What would you recommend to someone starting to watch anime for the first time?
C0M: HxH is the easiest one, its the most easiest one to get into with all the story line and stuff.
Note: Questions and answers may have been altered slightly for the sake of clarity and fluidity.
Featured image photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
For all information about the VCT 2023, check out our VCT Hub. There you will find our FAQ to answer all of your questions and details about the teams, different Leagues, and more.