From the very beginning of competitive Valorant last April in North America, it appeared that Sentinels would be top of the crop for some time to come. Fast forward a year, and they’ve secured plenty of tournament victories, including the PAX Arena Invitational and Pop Flash Ignition Series events, JBL Quantum Cup, Stage 1 Masters, and now a Stage 2 Challengers Finals win that secured them a trip to Reykjavík. With their many victories, it’s clear that their dominance over North America has been validated. Now, they’ll get to show it on the international stage.
Sentinels’ lineup. Screengrab from nerdstgamers on Twitch.
Hunter “Sick” Mims
Shazeb “ShahZaM” Khan
Tyson “TenZ” Ngo
Michael “dapr” Gulino
Jared “zombs” Gitlin
Every member of the Sentinels roster has time spent in Counter-Strike Global Offensive except for Jared “zombs” Gitlin, who came to VALORANT from Overwatch and Apex Legends. Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan and Hunter “SicK” Mims were Counter-Strike teammates under TSM, Misfits and Complexity Gaming. Michael “dapr” Gulino meanwhile had decent success in CSGO, mostly under the eUnited team. As for Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, he does come from an FPS background just as the rest of the team, spending time with Cloud9’s CSGO roster.
After allegations in early March, Sentinels made the decision to bench their well-known player and arguably the leader of the team, Jay “sinatraa” Won. After his benching, the team signed TenZ, who is without a doubt the best duelist in the North American VALORANT scene, entering any plant site the team asks of him with finesse. With entry to the site already handled, every team needs that ultimate lurk, and a teammate willing to be patient and needing to do whatever is needed of them. For Sentinels, that happens to be dapr.
SicK is the flex master. He’s played half the agents in the game and almost every role in competitive play, and there was a time where, in a best of five series, he’d play five different agents. Combine this with his own great aim and he and TenZ make for one of the world’s scariest duos. ShahZaM was playing Jett until TenZ joined the team, but now mostly finds himself on Sova duty save for a few maps. He also functions as the team’s IGL. Lastly, zombs is a pure support but an absolutely integral part of the team that they can’t do without.
Style of Play
With most VALORANT teams playing a slow methodical game in order to confuse their enemies into thinking they’re going to one site, Sentinels plays the opposite. Since the addition of TenZ, some of the rounds, especially pistols and the all important bonus round, they play quick and aggressive. This typically throws off the opponent as they will only have 2 or 3 players defending one site.
Sentinels should be coming into this event thinking they can take the win, and if not, placing top 3 at the worst. Their ability to adjust to whatever opponent gets in their way will be put to the test in Reykjavík. It won’t be easy, but if things come together – TenZ playing like the top duelist he is, other regions failing to adjust to the North American playstyle, etc – they have as good a shot as any at securing the big win.