Sentinels proved their hopium is real.
After missing out on qualifying for Valorant’s international events for the past two years, the North American squad finally broke the curse by securing a spot in Masters Madrid with a top-two finish at VCT Americas Kickoff 2024.
On March 3, SEN defeated NRG Esports 2-1 in the Americas region’s Kickoff tournament semifinals to secure their spot in Spain, the setting for Riot Games’ first international LAN in the VCT 2024 season.
The last time SEN competed in an international tournament was at Masters Berlin in 2021.
Since then, the only player remaining in SEN’s roster is Valorant superstar Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, who delivered a crucial performance in the first map of the series.
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Here’s a closer look at how Sentinels reclaimed their position at the top of the Valorant world.
Sentinels defeats NRG to qualify for Masters Madrid
SEN secured a nail-biting 16-14 victory in the opening map, Sunset, after a quadruple overtime, taking a 1-0 lead.
The standout performers for SEN were TenZ and Zachary “zekken” Patrone.
TenZ, playing as Omen, secured 30 kills, while zekken, on Raze, contributed 31 eliminations.
TenZ strategically positioned himself on off angles and high ground, allowing him to take shots before his opponents could react.
Zekken capitalized on his teammate’s agent utility, entering for his team, resulting in 10 first bloods on the map.
Ascent, the second map in the series, was controlled by NRG.
SEN struggled to find their rhythm and ultimately lost 13-8.
NRG dismantled SEN’ defensive setups, courtesy of a remarkable performance from last year’s world champion, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, on KAY/O.
Ethan provided crucial support as the team’s initiator and emerged as NRG’s top fragger, boasting a 27/12/9 KDA and a 333 ACS.
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SEN turned the tide on the final map, Split, securing a dominant 13-3 victory against their fellow North American opponents.
Everything fell into place for SEN. Wherever NRG went, SEN had an answer for all scenarios.
Mouhamed “johnqt” Ouarid, SEN’s IGL, exhibited near-perfect gameplay on Cypher, effectively anchoring the B site and preventing any NRG lurkers from slipping through.
He finished as SEN’s Split MVP with an impressive 18/7/5 KDA and 287 ACS.
But it wasn’t solely johnqt who posed challenges for NRG—TenZ also demonstrated his prowess on Omen.
In the seventh round, while defending the A site, TenZ put on a show, exhibiting flawless movement and perfect Omen utility usage.
Despite being outnumbered in a 2v4 retake, TenZ diverted all of NRG’s attention towards him while johnqt cleaned up the site.
Securing the seventh round was crucial for SEN as it helped them maintain their momentum, leading to a commanding 11-1 halftime score.
This lead proved insurmountable for NRG to overcome.