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Interview with Itopata, Leviatan's Assistant Coach

Interview with Itopata, Leviatan's Assistant Coach
Written by: Yoann
-
13/02/2024

Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Itopata, Leviatan’s assistant coach! How are you, and how would you introduce yourself?


Itopata: I’m doing good, thank you! My name is Dimitar Staev, also known as Itopata, I’m 29, I’m from Bulgaria, and I’m currently living in Los Angeles, where I’m with the Leviatan team for the VCT season!

 


Yoann: Nice! When and how did you get into esports?

 

Itopata: It was 8 years ago, I was playing football back then, but I got injured and misdiagnosed, instead of 6 months of recovery time, I had to wait a year, which became really boring. 

I was just staying at home and I started playing Overwatch, and I was interested in the professional league, so I decided to go for it!



Yoann: What's your role as a Valorant assistant coach for Leviatan, how can you help 

your players?

 

Itopata: I’m basically filling the gaps in the team, Goked is doing a lot of work as the head coach. I’m trying to find things to improve and help out the players, do stats for them, and help with the vod reviews. I’m helping out with many things!



Yoann: Amazing! You have previously worked with TSM and Apeks, what can you tell us about these experiences?

 

Itopata: Both of them were very cool! TSM was my first Tier 1 experience, we played in the pre-franchised VCT, and we unfortunately got eliminated pretty early on in the tournament, but I think I learned a lot from the players, and the coaches, they were super nice! 

 

Then, I moved to Apeks, and we probably made the best Tier 2 team in the world. We were super close to making it to the VCT, this was the best org I’ve worked with before joining Leviatan. It didn’t end the way we wanted, but I still enjoyed my time there!



Yoann: For sure! What's your preparation routine before games?

 

Itopata: I don’t have a super specific preparation routine. When we need to travel to a venue, I’ll usually listen to music, and I have my daily routine, that I do regardless if it’s a match day or not!



Yoann: You have a brand new roster for the 2024 season, how confident are you heading into this season?

 

Itopata: I’m pretty confident! We have one of the best teams in the world firepower-wise. Even when things are not working, we would sometimes win the round because someone is shooting five players! We all know our potential and our goal is to win Champions at the end of the year!



Yoann: That would be amazing! Let’s now move on to the Quick Questions part, I’ll ask you 10 quick questions, and you’ll have to answer as fast as possible! Ready?

 

Itopata: Yeah!



Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?

 

Itopata: Phantom!



Yoann: What's your favorite map?

 

Itopata: Haven! 



Yoann: What's your favorite agent?

 

Itopata: Sova!



Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?

 

Itopata: I don’t have one, I play without skins!



Yoann: What's your best memory working in esports?

 

Itopata: Winning against Fnatic with the Wave Esports team!



Yoann: How often do you play Valorant in your free time?

 

Itopata: Not at all, I don’t have a lot of free time!



Yoann: Can you name the eight teams that won an international event?

 

Itopata: Sentinels, Gambit, Optic, Fnatic, Loud, EG… I’m missing two!



Yoann: The last two are Acend and FPX! 6 out of 8 is pretty good!

Which team would you like to play against in the grand final of Champions?

 

Itopata: Fnatic or NRG! I think they’re the best teams!



Yoann: What kind of music do you listen to while working?

 

Itopata: Most of the time rock or heavy metal!



Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent, Sova?

 

Itopata: “I am the hunter”!



Yoann: Nice, awesome! Let’s now get back to the standard questions.

What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?

 

Itopata: As I said, I don’t have a lot of free time, unfortunately. Gaming is my real passion. I had football back in the day, but I won’t call it a passion anymore.



Yoann: Okay I understand! How do you feel about the current meta, as a coach?

 

Itopata: The current meta is changing a lot, and we’re still experimenting, and trying out new stuff. Skye basically got removed from the game, we only still play her on one or two maps, she’s just not enough anymore. The timing of the patch was bad, let’s be honest. But I think it’s a good thing for the game. Anything that brings more Sova into the game, I’m happy with! This agent is super cool when it comes to strategy, he brings a lot of depth to the game!



Yoann: What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer?

 

Itopata: That’s a good question! I would add another agent like Jett, but not as meta-defining as her. I really like the dash or Raze’s satchels, and I feel like one more agent with movement abilities could bring a lot of depth to the game, and bring out different compositions!



Yoann: That’s interesting! What would you say to someone aspiring to be a Valorant coach?

 

Itopata: You need to have a lot of patience, this is one of the biggest things! Being a coach is very underappreciated, you’re rarely under the spotlights, which is fine, I guess. 

We don’t get as much recognition as in traditional sports. 

To make it, there are two ways. Either you develop your skills or develop your connections, make sure that you know the right people. Obviously, both would be ideal, but trust me, sometimes it’s not always possible!

 

 

Yoann: What are your short and long-term ambitions with Leviatan?

 

Itopata: Everyone at Lev has 1 goal in mind, and i think people know what it is. 



Yoann: Is there anything else you would like to say?

 

Itopata: Come watch us for the first games of the Americas VCT Kickoff! We are playing 100 Thieves first, and I think it’s going to be a very good game! Our group is going to be fun, with Sentinels and Loud!



Yoann: That’s for sure! Thank you so much for your time! I wish you the best for this season!

Itopata: Thank you!




Itopata’s Socials:

  • Twitter (X): https://twitter.com/ItopataOW
  • Liquipedia: https://liquipedia.net/valorant/Itopata



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