Sentinels have punched their ticket to the VCT Challengers playoffs with their win over Rise 2-1 on Friday.
With the win over RISE, Sentinels showed that they mean business and are in no way, shape, or form ready to miss out on the playoffs. While they looked shaky at first, dropping the first map to RISE and raising tensions for an upset, Sentinels calmed down and it was business as usual.
Sentinels slow to start, but closing things out
Almost every interview this season has noted that Sentinels are slow to start on maps. That's been the most common thought about the team from the community, and Sentinels SicK explained why that is. Apparently, the team has a hard time finding scrim partners, so they come into a lot of their matches cold. This difficulty in finding scrim partners was not elaborated on, but could be down to finding opponents that aren't afraid of giving up their strategies.
"We start slow, it's really tough for us sometimes to find the rhythm. Especially because we rely so much on our aim and we tend to disrespect teams a lot. We have to have our aim on point. We have a hard time finding scrims, so it can take us a while to get warmed up. But once we get a handle on that we'll be a lot stronger for sure."
Sentinels managed to close out the series against Rise, maybe not as dominating as they might have liked, but closing it out all the same. The final scoreline reflected the competitive nature of the series, with a 9-13, 13-11, and 13-8 final scoreline in Sentinel's favor. SicK was a particular highlight for his team, earning himself the highest ACS of the match at 226 and finishing with the highest +/- on the server.
Sick vs RISE on 3/4:
- ACS: 226
- Kill differential: +18
- 141 Average Damage/round
- 9 first kills
Times are changing for Valorant
Unlike many Valorant tournaments thus far, Challengers will have a patch introduced midstream starting next week. This means a number of changes to the meta, especially in regards to utility. One might expect a team like Sentinels to be worried, but SicK assured fans the chaos might be exactly what SEN needs as they start to head into the playoffs.
"I do think that the meta changing is going to benefit us a bit, away from the utility heavy meta. We'll have to take the next week to figure it out though, see what roles we're going to play. It will be a mixup for sure."
The Guard stands watch for Sentinels
It helps that SEN are now qualified for the playoffs, so they'll have one match to get it right before playoffs kick off later this month. When asked about their potential opponents in Group B, SicK was quick to note that Cloud9 are always a challenge, but that the biggest surprise has been The Guard. That matchup, set to be somewhat of an old guard versus the new class, is one of the most anticipated of the entire tournament.
"The Guard are somewhat new to the scene, and we haven't had much experience against them," Sick said. "I think that will be an interesting matchup. They just popped up, and they've been owning."
Sentinels will take on Version 1 for their last match of the Challengers group stage on March 12.
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