While Sentinels may have been handed their first LAN loss ever, it’s all according to their master plan to have their easiest road to the finals.
Coming into Berlin Masters, all of the smart money and pundits in the world had Sentinels coming out of their group on top and undefeated. But it seems that this was not in the cards for the top team in the world. Something looked off form and Sentinels seemed a bit out of sorts against G2 as they went down 2-0 (13-3, 13-11.) However, it seems that this was all according to plan for the number one seed from NA and current defending Masters champions.
Sentinels unconcerned with first loss
“The match went exactly how we expected it to and wanted to,” Zombs said in a post-match press conference. “Going into the knockout bracket we wanted the seed we're going to get from this so it worked out.”
For many, this matchup between G2 and Sentinels was much anticipated. Bragging rights for EU fans hoping for some vindication for the previous Masters. For some, a possible Grand Finals preview. With G2 taking home the victory, they certainly earned some karma on social media.
All according to plan
However, Sentinels appears to be the one still holding the cards, at least if you ask Zombs.
“We've only played Split and Icebox, which we played already against G2, so we didn't want to show anything else on other maps," Zombs said. "I think it's going to be fine going into the future games.”
This is certainly something that G2 should be aware of if they built up confidence from this victory against Sentinels, and even makes the “first LAN loss” they handed Sentinels mean a lot less in the eyes of pundits, and especially for Sentinels themselves.
“I don't think we prepared at all for this match, to be honest,” Zombs explained.
With no preparation for the match, and certainly one that G2 seemed to have prepared for intensely, one would question whether or not this match has any lasting ramifications beyond the seeding that Sentinels wanted. Potential future matchups include Vision Strikers, 100 Thieves, and Team Envy. All teams who dominated their groups - but teams that Sentinels have massive amounts of experience against. The number two seeds in the other groups, still to be decided, contained a lot more question marks for the team. Certainly, a strategic play rather than one born of chance.
“If we play a NA team we have a ton of experience against them, so it's good. We've also recently scrimmed Vision Strikers, so we're more confident going up against any of these three teams than the other teams if we had the #1 seed.”
Specific matchups have yet to be announced for the Berlin Masters playoff stage. Quarterfinals are to be played beginning on Friday.
G2 Nukkye: “The system was created after all the tournaments. We only had Masters Berlin as a way to gather points for VCT Championships”
G2 Esports are looking to make a run for the crown at VCT Masters Berlin. However, their first step towards making that path easier will be taking down the Sentinels.