Sentinels end 932-day hex, clinch Masters Madrid spot

After two years of disappointment, the North American squad has finally shattered the curse that kept them from qualifying for Valorant’s international events. With an impressive top-two finish at VCT Americas Kickoff 2024, they have secured a coveted spot in Masters Madrid. On March 3, in a thrilling showdown, SEN emerged victorious over NRG Esports with a 2-1 scoreline in the semifinals of the Americas region’s Kickoff tournament, ensuring their presence in Spain for Riot Games’ highly anticipated international LAN event in the VCT 2024 season. The last time SEN competed on the international stage was at Masters Berlin in 2021. Since then, the team has undergone significant changes, with Tyson “TenZ” Ngo being the lone survivor from the previous roster. TenZ, a Valorant superstar in his own right, delivered a stellar performance in the first map of the series, demonstrating his undeniable skill and impact.

The journey of Sentinels to reclaim their position at the pinnacle of the Valorant world is a testament to their resilience and determination. With their hard-earned place in Masters Madrid, they have proven that they are ready to once again challenge the best teams in the world. The stage is set for an exciting and fiercely competitive tournament as Sentinels aim to leave their mark on the Valorant landscape.

Sentinels defeats NRG to qualify for Masters Madrid

SEN secured a nail-biting 16-14 victory in the opening map, Sunset, after an intense quadruple overtime, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. The tension was palpable as both teams fought tooth and nail for every round. The standout performers for SEN were none other than TenZ and zekken. TenZ, known for his exceptional individual skill, showcased his prowess as Omen, securing an impressive 30 kills throughout the map. His ability to position himself in advantageous spots and take shots before his opponents could react was instrumental in SEN’s success. zekken, on the other hand, proved to be a force to be reckoned with on Raze. With an impressive 31 eliminations, he made good use of his teammate’s agent utility to create openings and secure crucial first bloods. His aggressive playstyle and ability to capitalize on opportunities provided a significant advantage for SEN.

However, the journey was not without its challenges. In the second map, Ascent, NRG took control of the game and managed to dismantle SEN’s defensive setups. Despite their best efforts, SEN struggled to find their rhythm and ultimately lost the map with a score of 13-8. NRG’s Ethan, a seasoned player and last year’s world champion, showcased his skills on KAY/O, providing crucial support as the team’s initiator. Ethan’s impressive 27/12/9 KDA and a staggering 333 ACS played a pivotal role in NRG’s victory. But SEN wasn’t ready to give up just yet. In the decisive third map, Split, they turned the tide in their favor with a dominant 13-3 victory. Every piece of the puzzle fell into place for SEN as they executed their strategies flawlessly. Mouhamed “johnqt” Ouarid, SEN’s in-game leader, showcased near-perfect gameplay on Cypher. His ability to effectively anchor the B site and deny any NRG lurkers proved crucial in securing rounds for his team. With an impressive 18/7/5 KDA and a 287 ACS, johnqt emerged as the Split MVP for SEN.

However, it wasn’t just johnqt who posed challenges for NRG. TenZ continued to impress on Omen throughout the match. In a particularly memorable round, defending the A site, TenZ displayed exceptional movement and utilized Omen’s abilities to perfection. Despite being outnumbered in a 2v4 retake situation, TenZ diverted all of NRG’s attention towards him, allowing johnqt to clean up and secure the round. This pivotal moment not only showcased TenZ’s individual skill but also highlighted the teamwork and synergy within the SEN roster. Securing the seventh round was crucial for SEN as it not only showcased their resilience but also helped them maintain their momentum throughout the match. This eventually led to a commanding 11-1 halftime score, setting the stage for their ultimate victory.

SEN’s journey to reclaim their position at the top of the Valorant world was filled with intense moments, exceptional individual performances, and strategic teamwork. With their well-deserved spot in Masters Madrid secured, they are now poised to face off against the best teams from around the globe. The stage is set for an epic showdown as SEN aims to make their mark on the Valorant landscape once again.

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