Sentinels after victory at the VCT Americas Kickoff
Photo by Marv Watson / Riot Games

Sentinels storm into VCT Americas Kickoff playoffs on the shoulders of Zekken 

One more step forward.

After a busy VALORANT offseason which saw them bring in an all-star in-game leader, call up their sixth man into the starting role, and finally lift a trophy in Korea, Sentinels are still in the running for a spot at Masters Madrid.

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Heading into the final series of the VCT Americas Kickoff Play-in, the Sentinels’ VALORANT roster only needed a single map win against G2 to punch their ticket to playoffs, and tried to get it by debuting Gekko on Sunset. While they threw away a couple of rounds on the attack side with messy post-plants, their composition eventually shined on the retakes after switching sides, and the roster posted a flawless defensive side to take Sunset, 13-8.

Mouhamed "johnqt" Ouarid of Sentinels competes at the VCT Americas Kickoff.
New leadership is already paying off for Sentinels. Photo by Marv Watson / Riot Games

With that map victory, the rest of the VALORANT series against G2 was only for the sake of pride, with Sentinels already having done enough to guarantee a semifinals spot. Fittingly, Sunset ended with zekken sticking a defuse despite his teammates dying all around him, as he’s been the star for Sentinels throughout the entire Kickoff run.

Across the full VALORANT Kickoff tournament, zekken led all players in Average Combat score with a massive 265.0 rating, and also led in average damage per round and kills per round. He also was tied for first with Demon1, keznit, and OXY with first kills per round. As zekken continues to get better and better, the case can be made he’s now in the best position to win, with a proven IGL in johnqt, a former world champion in Sacy firmly re-established on his initiator role, and both TenZ and Zellsis supporting him as flex specialists.

One of three teams still sit between Sentinels and Madrid though: Two VALORANT teams stacked with veterans and stars in NRG and LOUD, and the relatively unknown but dangerous and well-coached Evil Geniuses.

The VCT Americas Kickoff Playoffs resume on Saturday, March 2.


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Author
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.