30th May 2021 – 10:42pm
After a long and eventful Phase 2 of the VCT, Sentinels finally won the Valorant Masters 2 in Reykjavik. They beat Fnatic in the grand final in just 3 maps. Although the Europeans did not lose out, forcing no less than 2 overtimes, they were defeated by the superiority of Sentinels.
Sentinels were by far the favourite team of the tournament, despite not playing with their regular roster. Indeed, with the setbacks and accusations against their star player, Sinatraa, the team was forced to find a replacement. By recruiting TenZ, the team could not say that they were losing out, as the Canadian prodigy was probably one of the best player, if not the best.
Since the arrival of TenZ, the Sentinels have been winning, starting with the Masters NA 1 and the Phase 2 Challengers. While the team's talent was undeniable, it remained to be seen how they would do against the other regions of the world. It's clear that Sentinels is a cut above the competition. The five players did not concede a single map of the Masters 2. They defeated the best European teams as well as the Brazilian and Korean ones.
Their victory was well deserved and the team has already qualified for the Valorant Champions in December. It remains to be seen whether the balance of power will change by then, and whether TenZ will still be part of the team.
The match started on Split, Sentinels' favourite map. It was no surprise to see the American champions dominate in Attack and take 5 of the first 6 rounds. While Sick, dapr and zombs attacked the Fnatic defenses head on, Shahzam and TenZ went around the Europeans to pincer them and secure several flawless. Magnum's efforts nevertheless allowed Fnatic to hold on until the side change. But as the Americans led 10 rounds to 5, Doma and Boaster chained triples and dominated the fights. Fnatic regained control of the game and the economy and were even one round away from winning, with a score of 12-11. Unfortunately for the Europeans, Sentinels managed to win the round they needed to reach overtime. Once fully re-equipped with bonus credits, they were finally able to beat Fnatic and take the first map.
After battling on the Sentinels map, the fight naturally continued on Fnatic's stronghold: Bind. This map seemed to mirror the previous one. Fnatic took an early advantage in Attack, thanks to the line-ups of Mistic and some excellent tricks that created confusion in the Sentinels' defense. After laying down the Spike, Fnatic avoided fights as much as possible by simply preventing their opponents from defusing, especially since it usually only takes one kill from TenZ on Reyna to see the young prodigy turn a round on his own. And then, side change came and the cards were redistributed. Round after round, TenZ managed to find the flaw in Fnatic defense and get to their back. The other Sentinels are not to be outdone and allow the team win a sseries of Flawless and take the lead. Fnatic narrowly managed to force overtime with a daring strategy based on buying two operators. Once in overtime, Sentinels took advantage of every other round, neutralising Fnatic's Attack phases. After some back and forth and some nice attempts of Boaster, Sentinels managed to win the second map of the day.
The last map of the Masters 2 was Haven. With the exception of the first two rounds, Sentinels simply crushed Fnatic in Attack. TenZ and Shahzam were going strong to reach 9 rounds to 3 at side change. And then, the situation was reversed. It was Fnatic's turn to dominate, winning the first 6 rounds of this phase of play. Magnum and Mistic revealed fighting skills comparable to their teammates who are charged with direct confrontations. But Fnatic failed to win the round that would have allowed them to force a third overtime. Sentinels won the tournament on a flawless performance and have already earned enough points to qualify for the Valorant Champions.