Riot Games has officially announced the brackets for the upcoming VCT North America Last Chance Qualifiers where the sole winning team advances to Valorant Champions Istanbul.

The first match of the tournament features the highly-anticipated debut of Sentinels’ new Valorant roster that includes popular Twitch streamer Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek. The former CS:GO pro has come out of retirement after spending the last for years as a fulltime content creator.

Shroud, alongside popular Valorant pros Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan, Michael “dapr” Gulino, and newcomer Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro, will face VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers champions The Guard in the upper bracket quarterfinals of the VCT NA LCQ’s playoffs.

Sentinels will take on The Guard in the upper bracket quarterfinals of VCT NA LCQ

Valorant The Guard Masters Reykjavik 2022
Credit: Riot Games

Each team’s seeding in the tournament was based on the VCT circuit point standing. The Guard, a team that had the most points at 220, was matched up against Sentinels, the squad with the least amount of points at 45.

These standings suggest that The Guard may have the upper hand against Sentinels, but their recent tournament runs have shown that both teams are struggling as of late.

The Guard failed to win a single match at Masters Reykjavik 2022, then finished 9th-10th place at VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers. The team’s decision to experiment with new agent roles for its players was unsuccessful.

The Guard’s head coach, Matthew “mCe” Elmore, said that they needed a top-class Raze player during the VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers Main Event. He explained that their star duelist player, Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo, was a good Raze player, but wasn’t able to produce the same results as when he plays Jett.

Sentinels also haven’t been in form top form after their team was plagued with roster instability throughout their VCT 2022 season run. TenZ missed their match against OpTic Gaming in Week 3 of the VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers Main Event after testing positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the team’s long-time flex player, Hunter “SicK” Mims, also took an extended leave of absence due to an undisclosed family matter, leaving Sentinels to play with stand-ins.

After benching Eric “Kanpeki” Xu before the VCT NA LCQ, Sentinels filled out their roster with Shroud and Zellsis. With their roster now complete, they’re in the process of adjusting their agent comps at their boot camp in Texas.

Sentinels TenZ Chamber quick swap guide
Credit: Riot Games

Most recently, TenZ leaked a scrim match against FaZe Clan, showing that he’s made the switch from Jett to Chamber on Split, possibly following the footsteps of former Jett mains like OpTic Gaming’s Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, who continues to dominate the Valorant scene with the French agent.

Chamber is one of the strongest agents in the current Valorant meta. The dapper weapons expert had the highest pick rate during Masters Copenhagen at 77%, despite the recent nerf to his Trademark traps.

Both teams must strive to be at the top of their game to claim the last and final slot at Valorant Champions Istanbul. Sentinels will face The Guard on August 5, 4:00 a.m. GMT+8 | August 4, 1:00 p.m. PT | August 4, 7:00 p.m. GMT. Fans can watch the match live on Riot Games’ official Valorant Twitch and YouTube channels.

READ MORE: The most-played agent composition on every map at Masters Copenhagen 2022