NA VCT Challengers One: Sentinels to miss VALORANT international LAN, Masters Reykjavik
The 2022 NA VCT Stage One Challengers has begun, having 12 teams divided into two groups to compete for four spots to advance to playoffs. After five weeks of grueling competition, the tournament’s group stage has concluded with only eight teams left competing for two tickets in the Stage One Masters. One team, parting ways in particular is Sentinels.
Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan and his men will have to say goodbye from competing at Masters Reykjavik and will have to make their debut on missing the VALORANT international LAN this year.
Sentinels’ back-to-back defeats from The Guard 2-0 in upper quarterfinals and Version1 2-1 on the first lower round cost the team to be eliminated from competing further in the playoffs.
First defeat against The Guard
Last year, Sentinels defeated Fnatic and secured the first position in Masters Two Reykjavík. With that in mind, ShahZaM and his men are not expecting elimination in Stage One this year, regardless of internal problems.
Notably, Sentinels’ problems started from head coach Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty being unable to stay permanently and had to part ways due to “buyout complications”. In addition to this, regardless of the coach-less status, the team has or was in relatively good condition ahead of the playoffs.
But it did not take long for The Guard to sweep victory on March 18 from Sentinels with a margin-wide final score of 2-0. The Guard was dominating against Sentinels, with everything appearing to have worked as planned for Jacob “valyn” Batio and his men, winning the first match on Bind with 13-6.
While Sentinels gave The Guard a few kicks during the match, the last rounds were nothing more but a great momentum for The Guard to finish the first half with an 11-1 scoreline. What followed in the second half was The Guard’s play without losing any players with a whopping 13-1 on Icebox, wrapping up the entire match against Sentinels 2-0.
“It feels great to beat sentinels and advance to the second round of playoffs,” valyn told Dot Esports.
“Our guys have been putting in a lot of work like up leading up to this and us getting like destroyed by C9 and proving to everyone that you know, we didn’t just get lucky before like we’re here to stay. It feels really nice.”
Defeated by Version1
After a defeat in the upper quarterfinals, Sentinels has been scheduled to take on Version1 on March 20. The match began with Sentinels’ pick on Haven and Tyson “TenZ” Ngo’s exploding performance using Jett.
TenZ deserved all appreciation he can get for dropping 31 kills against Version1 on Haven, ensuring the team’s victory 13-7 on the first match. The second match took place on Ascent where Version1 appears to have fully dominated ShahZaM and his men.
But not before Sentinels gathers for a defense, forcing Version1 to play it cautiously followed by fast rotations as they pushed. The second match concluded with 13-9 as Version1’s fast rotations flanked their opponents and fully controlled the planting spots.
The third and final match led the two headbutting on Fracture. ShahZaM and his men showcased strong and consistent performance this time around forcing both with a tied score of 6-6. But it did not take long for Version1 to get around Sentinels’ play with a strong defense, ending the match with a 13-8 victory for Version1.