All eyes were on Sentinels in their first April Super Week matchup in their VALORANT Champions Tour 2023: Americas League match against LOUD, with the squad calling upon substitute Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen for his VCT 2023 debut—and he did not disappoint.
Going unwanted in the 2022-2023 off-season, Marved joined the Sentinels VALORANT roster as the team’s sixth man and substitute in March. But, with Sentinels releasing head coach Donald “SyykoNT” Muir and Tyson “TenZ” Ngo taking time off to rest, Marved’s return to competitive VALORANT was nigh.
Expectations were low for Sentinel’s April 21 match against 2022 champions and LOCK//IN finalists LOUD. The teams couldn’t be in more different scenarios, with the North American team stumbling out the gate with a 1-2 record, while their Brazilian opponents remained a top team that had yet to be defeated regionally. With the series starting on Pearl, everyone expected LOUD to start strong. Yet, it was Marved that stood out in what proved a one-sided map for Sentinels.
It was like he never left, fitting since his handle was still OpTic Marved on the first map. He was winning important fights and making plays, like this moment where he covered for his teammates perfectly to win a round.
All of Sentinels were playing up to Marved, winning the opening map 13-6. Sentinels weren’t as strong opening map two on Haven, but a quick pistol win in the second half kept the game close. Marved continued to play well, with this great lurk that led to two kills and a free site.
The win on Haven slipped out of Sentinels’ hands, losing 13-11, but LOUD were still at risk of a loss to a team that was facing unforeseen roster changes. Even with a strong third map performance by Marved on Ascent, LOUD regained their form and defeated Sentinels 13-8, winning the series 2-1. In the end, the match was eerily similar to how Sentinels lost to Leviatán before their roster changes.
But, considering how significant the roster changes were and the step up in competition when facing LOUD, Sentinels had a great time with Marved’s debut, even with the loss. He finished second in his team in kills with 51, and plus/minus at +7. With TenZ continuing to take time off, Marved and Sentinels won’t have a lot of time to wait before their next match against MIBR on April 23, 2023.