Sentinels’ zombs spoke to press after their loss to Team Liquid about how the COVID-19 situation around Champions was being handled, and how it affected their gameplay.

In one of the most exciting matches of VALORANT Champions so far, Team Liquid defeated Sentinels 2-1 to progress to the playoff stage. Sentinels have been dropped to the lower bracket, where they’ll face the winner of KRU Esports vs. FURIA for the second spot in the playoffs.

As the match happened, though, doubt was being cast over the tournament. Earlier today, reports and rumors began circulating that VALORANT Champions, like the North American Last Chance Qualifier before it, were in serious jeopardy due to COVID-19. In fact, the Sentinels-Liquid match was played from a hotel, due to Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom testing positive for COVID-19.

Sentinels’ Jared “zombs” Gitlin spoke to press after the match, giving his perspective on the precarious situation around the tournament.

Sentinels believe playing from the hotel gave Liquid an advantage

While Liquid’s whole tournament has been played from the hotel so far, Sentinels had a stage match against FURIA before being put in practice rooms. zombs believe that experience, and the uncomfort of the setup, gave Liquid an advantage.

Q: What is it like to to play on LAN in a hotel, as opposed to LAN on a stage or even online in a hotel?

“It’s definitely way worse. I think we would have had a way bigger advantage on the stage, that could have potentially had a different outcome on the match, and they already had experience playing from the hotel. And I think these setups are like a lot worse in the hotel, and there’s no air conditioning in the room or anything. Conditions aren’t as good as the stage.”

Playing from a hotel wasn’t the only bad part of the experience. Sentinels spent Thanksgiving in Berlin, and zombs said that situation was just as bad.

“It’s horrible. We were in quarantine. So just locked in a room all day.”

Lastly, rumors have abounded that many teams are panicking due to the COVID-19 situation at Champions.

zombs confirmed that he’d heard similar things, and certainly, Sentinels’ players didn’t like the situation.

“The COVID scare has definitely impacted us, we couldn’t practice at all the entire day today right before her match because of it, and we were all stuck in our rooms the whole day leading up to the match. So it’s definitely really annoying and people are scared to do anything. People want to go home, on every team someone wants to go home, literally. But we’re playing through it and trying to make the best out of it.”

Riot Games have stated that all positive tests have since come back negative on more reliable testing methods, and the tournament will be proceeding for now.

zombs on the game: “I think we just threw a lot of rounds that we should never lose”

Coming to his individual performance and Sentinels’ performance across the match, zombs first commented on his tremendous 1v3 on Breeze.

“It felt good, of course, during that round. I mean, there wasn’t much going through my mind. Just 1v3. I tried to molly the bomb to delay them so I could hold longer, and they weren’t holding the angle wide enough to defend their teammate that was defusing. So I was able to molly the bomb, and then they just pushed me one by one and three.”

In response to a question about TenZ’s impact on Jett, zombs said that he didn’t think the problem was an agent, simply their gameplay.

“I don’t think the Jett was a problem at all. I think we just threw a lot of rounds that we should never lose but we had a big advantage. And that’s why we lost again.”

Lastly, zombs said that he isn’t worried about any opponent they’ll be coming up against in the lower bracket elimination game.

“We’re confident versus any team, so we’ll definitely make it through.”

Stay tuned to for the latest VALORANT news and updates, and full coverage of VALORANT Champions.


Shawn "Germanicus" Heerema

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @GermanicusCVIII

A writer from Niagara, Canada, Shawn covers VALORANT, League of Legends, and PUBG. He previously wrote for THESPIKE.GG and is a journalism student at Ryerson University. He has also been accredited press for Worlds 2021 and VALORANT Champions.