The Sentinels rebuild is in full swing.
With the signing of XSET youngster Zachary “zekken” Patrone, the first piece of the puzzle is already in place.
There is plenty of reason for fans to be excited. Coaches Don “Syyko” Muir and Adam “kaplan” Kaplan have a proven track record of developing talent — and they’re looking to bring that same approach to the new Sentinels roster.
For a team that had dominated in the early days of Valorant, only to fall off steeply the following year, that long-awaited return to form cannot come sooner.
The new Sentinels will be ready to win big, says Syyko
In an interview with Tarik “tarik” Celik, the new coaching duo was not shy about the expectations and goals they had for the roster they were putting together.
“We’re going to assemble a super team,” said Syyko. “We’re going for the throne. We’re going for the wins. We’re not building a team that’s going to be good next year. We’re building a team that’s going to win.”
“We’re going to bring a lot of foundational elements from both XSET and Ghost Gaming. A lot of our former playbooks, maybe even some former players. And we’re going to use that as a foundation to build something brand new for Sentinels.”
Part of that promise has already materialized. XSET star zekken joined today, and he is expected to be followed soon by in-game leader Rory “dephh” Jackson. Veteran Sentinels IGL Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan will not be part of the 2023 roster — a significant change that could take the team in a completely new direction.
There is good cause for optimism. Sykko helped lead XSET on a journey of slow but steady improvement over the past year. From a team that had always performed consistently but always struggled to break into the top tier of the scene, XSET rose to become the second-best team in North America, behind only OpTic Gaming.
They placed fifth to sixth at Valorant Champions 2022, an impressive feat for a squad that not too long ago had seemingly been cursed to always finish fourth at regional events.
Kaplan was the coach of Ghost Gaming, a team that enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight in VCT NA Stage 2. Emerging from the depths of the Tier 2 scene, Ghost tore through the open qualifiers to advance to the Main Event, where they finished with a stellar 4-1 record over teams like 100 Thieves and The Guard.
While the team unfortunately crashed out of the playoffs, the previously unknown roster had already made their mark.
Whatever roster Sentinels end up putting together, fans can be sure that the pair will be a steadying hand behind it.