After a short and disappointing VCT 2023 debut at LOCK//IN, Sentinels showed up to the first match of the Americas season with some big changes to their roster compositions.
Sentinels started the series on Fracture with a significant change , moving long-time initiator Sacy to the controller role on Brimstone, pANcada to Killjoy, and dephh to Breach. While Sentinels found some success on defense with this composition, they looked lost early on attack, with no utility to counter aggressive crunches from 100 Thieves. But 100T took their foot off the gas, giving Sentinels the time and space to plan executes with Zekken and TenZ leading the way on Raze and Jett.
With map one tied at 11-11, the former LOUD duo clutched two straight two-vs-two post-plant scenarios to push Sentinels over the finish line on Fracture, 13-11.
Split started almost identically as Fracture, with Sentinels taking a narrow lead heading into halftime after their defensive side, and Sacy again stepping away from the initiator role to pick up Sage. Again, just like on Fracture, the map went down to the wire and went to an 11-11 tie. This time, Zekken delivered first with three kills and an assist on a B execute, but 100T shut down a mid-to-B play to force overtime. 100T claimed the map in two rounds of overtime to send the series to Ascent.
Unlike the first two maps though, Sentinels struggled on their defensive side in the first half despite finally winning a pistol round, due partly to a shockingly rough game from zekken on Sova. He ended the half with one kill while Sentinels only claimed four rounds on defense. Zekken immediately got three in the pistol round to jump start Sentinels’ momentum on attack, but during full buy rounds Sentinels struggled to get on site safely, finding themselves at a disadvantage in most post-plants. Still, the team strung together three crucial rounds to force overtime.
Sentinels finally took the lead for the first time all map on Ascent after the first OT round, then followed TenZ into the B site on attack to clinch the map and the series 2-1.
These agent and role changes within the Sentinels camp are historic in terms of their significance. The last time Sacy played a non-initiator was before he joined LOUD, back in August 2021 when was with Team Vikings, and he didn’t play a single initiator in all three maps. PANcada had never played Killjoy before today, and played her twice.
Sentinels will have another big test against NRG next week, while 100T takes on Evil Geniuses.