The battle of the titans came early in the semifinals of the VCT NA Challengers Finals.
Reigning Stage One: Masters champions Sentinels took on First Strike champions 100 Thieves today in what can potentially be a preview of the event's grand finals. With a trip to Iceland at stake, Sentinels sent their opponents to the lower bracket and are now one series away from a Masters: Reykjavík berth.
The first game of the series started off one-sided, with Sentinels dominating on Haven's attack. 100 Thieves almost pulled off an incredible comeback in the second half, but would still lose the match, 13-11. In one particularly exciting round, SicK hid with Phoenix in a cheeky corner near A site's CT. The pro was able to spray down three unsuspecting 100 Thieves players in quick succession to win the round and complete the ace.
"I used to be worried about 100 Thieves when we first started playing them because they beat us the first two times we played them," SicK told Dot Esports after their victory over Version1 yesterday. "Now we have an established amount of confidence against them."
The next two matches weren't anywhere near as close. Icebox went in 100 Thieves' favor, with Josh "steel" Nissan and his lurking Killjoy's server-high 18 kills paving the way to a 13-3 win. The final match would conversely be all Sentinels, with the star-studded squad winning the map 13-4 and advancing to the next stage of the bracket.
It's hard to isolate any one Sentinel responsible for the team's win today. Across the three games, star fragger TenZ put up 47 kills, followed by zombs' 46, and SicK's 40. With so much firepower on the roster, any player is capable leading the charge. While this match didn't go in 100 Thieves' favor, many believe that they will join Sentinels in representing NA in Iceland.
Sentinels will take on a hot Cloud9 Blue team in the upper finals tomorrow at 3pm CT. 100 Thieves will try to climb their way through the lower bracket against Envy later today.