Mental warfare between the different regions is in full effect at the Valorant Champions Tour VCT Stage 2 Masters, and Sentinels appear to be benefiting the most.

After three days of intense competition, Sentinels Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan gave us a glimpse at how they manage to get a mental edge over their opponents.

Sentinels completely dominated the top-seeded Brazilian representatives, Team Vikings during Day 3 of the VCT Stage 2 Masters.

The match kind of got out of hand when Sentinels’ Cypher main, Michael “dapr” Gulino threw his Phantom at Vikings’ Gustavi “sacy” Rossi, and tried to knife him right before halftime.

ShahZaM possesses his own mind game plays

Credit: Riot Games

During the post-game press conference after their match, ShahZaM revealed how they get into their opponents’ heads, “I think dapr is the king of that, teabagging, knifing people, toying with them with his movement, [along with] using Cypher cam and stuff.” 

“For me, I like to get in their head by my tactics in-game,” added ShahZam. “If I have a hard read on a team, I’m going to make it very obvious to them that I know what they’re doing, so that they’re in their own heads and that they can’t play their own game.”

ShahZaM wants his opponents to know that he’s thoroughly studied how they play and their strategies. By getting into his opponents’ heads, this places them in an uncomfortable spot. This is how ShahZaM plays his mind games.

Preparation before matches is key to Sentinels’ success

ShahZaM did his homework by watching Team Vikings replays. He realized that the Brazilian playstyle focuses more on early round duels, instead of info play.

With that in mind, he implemented strategies to give his team the advantage during the opening moments of rounds.

“Individually, they have really talented players. I think if they can implement a slower playstyle, a bit more playing and denying info. When they do, they’ll be a really scary team,” said ShahZaM.

The North American team exploited Vikings’ aggressive openings by posting Tyson “TenZ” Ngo in tight angles with an Operator. Since Vikings didn’t use any of their utility going in, this gave TenZ easy shots, and Sentinels the numbers advantage.

Sentinels are two match wins away from winning Masters Reykjavík

Credit: Riot Games

The North American squad’s convincing 2-0 victory over Team Vikings advances them to the Upper Bracket Final, where they will face the winner of Version1 and NUTURN Gaming’s Upper Bracket Semifinals match.

Version1 versus NUTURN Gaming is the opening match on May 27 (Day 4) at 11:00 p.m. 

This will then be followed by two elimination matches. European squad Fnatic will be facing off against Thai team X10 Esports on May 28 at 1:30 a.m, while Team Liquid versus KRÜ Esports is the scheduled last match of the day on May 28 at 4:30 a.m.

Catch the matches live on Valorant’s official Twitch and YouTube channels.

READ MORE: Sentinels TenZ: ‘Look out for X10 Esports’