Despite some promising moments for the Koreans, it was ultimately a comfortable scoreline for SEN. They’re the first team confirmed for Sunday’s grand finals, while NUTURN face the winner of Liquid-Fnatic tomorrow.
We're at the later stages of VCT Masters Reykjavik, and the upper bracket final was set to be a good one. North America's first seed, Sentinels, brushed aside Fnatic and Team Vikings with relative ease to place themselves in the top three. Coming from the other side of the bracket, Korea's NUTURN had a few shaky maps but have been electrifying when they're on. NUTURN also took down North America's other representative, Version1, to make it here. It all came down to this: with a spot in the grand finals on the line, which team and region came out on top?
Sentinels shut down NUTURN's early momentum to take solid Bind win
NUTURN selected Bind as the first map. Haven, Sentinels' pick as the second map, had been great for the North American squad and poor for the Koreans, meaning Bind was a crucial one if NUTURN wanted to win the series. In agent select, we immediately saw the differences in the teams' approach to the game. Sentinels went with Astra and Viper, while NUTURN used neither, opting for Breach and Omen.
Sentinels started Bind with a confident pistol win. NUTURN forced for the next round and would lose, giving SEN a huge advantage. After that, though, NUTURN would make the eco happen, thanks to a big lurk from Kang "solo" Geun-chul, and put together a flawless round on Sentinels' own eco, making the score 2-2 in an unorthodox fashion.
The following rifle rounds would go heavily in favor of Sentinels. Hunter "SicK" Mims had some massive plays, clutching up a round and shutting down a deadly NUTURN eco with a wallbang double kill. The teams would trade rounds to close out the half, NUTURN putting together a nice execute while SicK and Kim "Lakia" Jong-min had some nice aim plays. The score was 8-4 Sentinels at the end of the half as the teams switched sides.
Sentinels kicked off the second half dominantly. A 2v5 pistol win lead into a solid B site execute and an 11-4 lead. While NUTURN would get one more round, Sentinels were dominant and the lead was insurmountable. Sentinels took Bind 13-5, and we moved on to Haven.
Dominant Haven performance seals the win for Sentinels
The second map started out just as crazy as the first had. Despite losing the pistol, solo scored four kills on his Breach. This gave him big progress towards his Rolling Thunder, and he found use for it on the second round to clean up Tyson “TenZ” Ngo and win NUTURN the eco. However, this was still Sentinels’ Haven, and they’d begin to clean up rifle rounds.
Sentinels quickly pulled away and began to dominate. NUTURN were able to find some early looks and picks, but when time ticked down, they found themselves pressed and unable to keep pushing. The North American squad was oppressive and punished every mistake. Those two rounds off the eco were the only ones NUTURN would win, as Sentinels led 10-2 at the half.
While NUTURN would take the pistol and follow-up, Sentinels had built too much of a lead. They would clean up 3 more rounds with relative ease to secure the 13-4 victory and book their berth in the grand finals.
TenZ really surprised me when he stood in for us. People compliment his mechanical skill, but as a teammate he is always open to criticism and his communications is good.
Sentinels is the first team to reach the VCT Masters Reykjavík grand finals. Nuturn Gaming still has another chance in the lower bracket finals.