“I feel a lot better, individually, in our team,” TenZ on how SEN has started VCT Americas 2024 cover image

“I feel a lot better, individually, in our team,” TenZ on how SEN has started VCT Americas 2024

Everyone heckin’ loves TenZ, and esports.gg had the chance to speak with him after Sentinels eliminated Leviatán at VCT Americas Kickoff.

Sentinels is one of many VCT teams that made key changes to its roster prior to 2024. One piece that remains untouched is Tyson "TenZ" Ngo. The star player has been a focal point of the organization for some time now.

And it continues to show with his efforts at evolving in and out of the game of VALORANT. We spoke with him about that evolution following a VCT Americas Kickoff victory against Leviatán that sent SEN to the play-ins.

TenZ discusses being in the flex role, drive to compete, and thoughts on SEN's fanbase

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"We’ll start right away with the match against Leviatán. Huge opening map on Split. You guys are looking good when things are firing on all cylinders. What would you say was the biggest success the team found on map one?"

TenZ: "We have a lot of really good protocols and we scrim Split a lot. That's a reason why Split's a go-to map for us. We feel it's a map where we have all our gaps covered, or we have multiple setups. We have multiple solutions to multiple equations. So, I think that Split is a really safe pick, because it makes the enemy team work hard. We just have everything filled out."

"Map two on Breeze was the opposite. Leviatán dominated on attack and closed it out with their defensive side. Bind didn’t go well for you against 100 Thieves. Were you worried that if LEV got that second map, that it would be a similar situation going into Bind?"

TenZ: "I'm sure there were some worries about their comp overall, because we were having issues against the Gecko for 100 Thieves. I think it was just in part to the fact that we changed our game plan completely, but kind of half-baked it at the same time. We were adapting before they even did anything that we had to adapt to.

"So, that kind of caused us to play weird or different against 100 Thieves. And then we went into this match against Leviatán. That's when we decided, don't fix what ain't broke. If it works, it works, and then if it doesn't work, we'll talk about it in the match."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"Well, onto Bind, you slotted in as Yoru. Not the first time, and probably not the last. But we definitely have seen him become more of a staple on that map. What do you try to do as Yoru that differentiates you from the other players that bring him into Bind?"

TenZ: "It's kind of like Duelist/Initiator style. So, a lot of the time, I'm taking map control. I can do it by myself, too. So, I could be like lurking, entrying. That's the thing I like about Yoru. You can kind of do everything at once. You can set up yourself, set up your teammates, and a lot of the stuff in his kit is very versatile."

"All in all, three different Agent categories played against LEV. Do you feel like you’ve evolved into a more flexible player or does the way that Sentinels operates just finally allow you to show it?"

TenZ: "It's just mainly that the meta leans towards more util heavy comps. Therefore, I was kind of forced to learn more of these roles. I think it feels pretty good. Obviously, I'm playing a way different role than I did previously, where I would kind of just run out and kill stuff. So, a lot of the time, I'm looking at my mini map more, and trying to set up my teammates with my util. It's definitely a different category of skillset that I had to relearn and improve on."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"The last time we talked, you were really just getting your feet wet in this role. You said you never really considered yourself an entry player. So, now that you’ve been in this position for a while, do you find it more rewarding than being the dive Duelist, so to speak?"

TenZ: " I feel like I have a lot of impact as the different roles I play through. Being able to set up my teammates mainly, I think is really nice, and also important for your people around your Duelist. And I think the dive Duelist, they see the spotlight and stuff

"The way I kind of described it is, you live and die by the people that set you up when you're on the dive Duelist. So, on previous Sentinels iterations, I was just going in and inting. I know what the Duelist needs to succeed individually. And so just setting up Zach (zekken), he's an insane person, and he will just frag out if you give him the right opportunity."

"Sentinels is always hyped up by other players, fans, analysts, what have you, before a season starts. This time around, you guys look like you can be the real deal. What about this year’s version of the team has been clicking?"

TenZ: "I think that overall, we're a really flexible team. We have a good play style that suits us. We've been finding our team identity. Our map pool is a lot more fleshed out than before. So, I think just stuff like that. We just feel better as a team. We feel actually a team."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"You’re absolutely one of the most popular VALORANT players, and have been in the game since day one. From Cloud9 to the Sentinels loan, now being a centerpiece of this team for quite a while. Obviously you’re young, but with your personal life, ability to just stream the game for a living, etcetera. What keeps that drive alive to compete in this esport?"

TenZ: "Just trying to win. I mean, that's the main objective, just trying to go from tournament to tournament, trying to do your best to win them. I definitely like I find the competitive side of VALORANT a lot more fun than the ranked kind of style. I do think that it just is more fun for me."

"Last thing. I spoke with Zellsis earlier in the tournament. He mentioned how the Sentinels fans can be toxic, but also very loving. It just depends on the situation. I'd like to ask you if there's anything you have to say to the SEN fans, and what your experience with them has been like year after year?"

TenZ: "Thank you to all the Sentinel fans for supporting us throughout the years. I know it's been kind of rocky for a hot minute, but definitely, it feels like it's trajecting upwards. I feel a lot better, individually, in our team, so I think that's a good sign. But yeah, just thank you for supporting us. I know it can be kind of a two-way street with some people's passion, but all good."

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