Sentienls sign top Free agent Zekken to begin rebuild cover image

Sentienls sign top Free agent Zekken to begin rebuild

Sentinels have signed a cornerstone piece and kicked off their rebuild with former XSET Duelist Zackary “Zekken” Patrone

After Sentinels signed Zekken's former head coach, Dan "Syyko" Muir, and analyst Adam Kaplan, the first roster domino has fallen and it's one of the most sought-after talents in the free agent market. Syyko, who undoubtedly has a say in the Sentinels roster construction, reunites with a player he helped develop into a perennial star.

Zekken is the most versatile player on the market 

The 17-year-old Zekken played a significant role in XSET's sixth-place finish at VCT Champions. His 219.9 ACS placed him in the top 20 of all qualified players, and virtually no player in Istanbul was as versatile as Zekken. 

(Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)
(Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

There's no role Zekken can't play at the highest level. He'll slot in the Sentinels roster as predominantly a Duelist, but he can also run the flex role to facilitate other star players who want to run an Operator agent or play in an entry role. At Champs, he played four different agents, switching between entry Neon and Raze, to a support role with Kay/o. He's also widely considered the best Neon main in the World.

For a team restructuring its roster and organization, Zekken is essentially the perfect player to start with. For starters, the mechanical skill is all there, but his game is more predicated around his intelligence and thoughtful approach. He molded his game around his teammates and sacrificed his performance for that of the team. As Zekken improved in North American Challengers Stage 2, XSET found their footing and blasted past their fourth-place ceiling. 

Alongside Zekken, his former IGL Rory "Dephh" Jackson is also joining the Sentinels roster, according to George Geddes of Dot Esports. The move adds three cornerstone pieces for Sentinels with plenty of experience and talent. The moves will bring a level of professionalism the previous iterations of the Sentinels rosters have lacked recently.

XSET Players being picked up after the G2 incident 

Moreover, Jordan "AYRIN" He became the first North American player to sign with an APAC organization. Thankfully, despite XSET missing partnership, the group is being picked up with only Brendan "BcJ" Jensen waiting to sign. With G2's plan to sign the entire roster falling through due to unforeseen circumstances with the Andrew Tate and Carlos debacle, where plans were in place to sign the full roster, it was good to see players landing on their feet.

ShahZaM and other Sentinels Uncertain Futures

Unfortunately, the flip side to all this is parting ways with organization mainstays. Former IGL Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Kheb found out during his stream that he was being released. He read through an article while streaming, and didn't hear directly from any Sentinels representatives.

Rob Moore later clarified Shahzam was previously informed of his contract not going to be extended and it was up to the coaches whether they wanted to keep him on the roster. It seems he was not.

With Tyson "TenZ" Ngo rumors looming and several spots left to fill, Sentinels are one of the more interesting teams to watch moving forward. Luckily, with the signing of Zekken, they've added a powerhouse player who hasn't come close to reaching his peak yet.