ShahZaM on FaZe: ‘They need to learn how to adapt and evolve’

ShahZaM prepared for FaZe and helped his team 2-0 the deadly opponent.

Image via Riot Games

Sentinels seemingly can’t be stopped in the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters One. The roster claimed yet another victim in last night’s victory over FaZe Clan.

This match was one of the most anticipated games of the weekend, but FaZe failed to counter Sentinels’ strong performance and were sent to the lower bracket. 

Before Masters One, Sentinels made a drastic change in replacing Sinatraa with TenZ following the former Overwatch pro’s suspension. But this change seemingly had little impact since Sentinels have remained undefeated and secured a spot in the grand finals. 

Sentinels in-game leader Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan normally prepared for this match despite FaZe having a much more aggressive style than Sentinels’ previous opponents. 

“I did the usual prep that I’ll do for every team,” ShahZaM told Dot Esports. “I break down the veto. I break down the maps we’re going to play. I look at their essential tendencies and come up with a game plan on the stuff we do that will work and the stuff that won’t.”

FaZe’s aggressive style allowed the team to beat XSET and Envy 2-0, and many were excited to see how Sentinels would counter the strategy. But understanding how their opponents push sites allowed Sentinels to set up and quickly halt FaZe’s advances. 

ShahZaM also said FaZe are not as dominant as everyone believes. Although FaZe has some of the best raw talents in NA, ShahZaM believes the team needs to evolve to remain successful. 

“That’s how we started out playing, and that’s how we were so familiar with the style,” ShahZaM said. “But we had to learn how to slow down the pacing of the rounds, change up, you know, the pace of brute-forcing in, defaulting, causing rotations, waiting for their adjustments, sniffing out their stack, trying to adjust, and then hitting the other site. They have the first step down, and now they need to learn how to adapt and evolve. I’m sure they’re fully capable of it; they’re a really talented team.”

The Sentinels roster has had its own fair share of adapting before major events. The suspension of Sinatraa introduced a new player into the lineup and forced ShahZam to move to a new role in some situations. Despite these changes, Sentinels have continued to be one of the best teams in NA. 

ShahZaM and the Sentinels roster are focused on winning Masters before considering changes to their lineup. It’s unclear if TenZ will become a permanent team member, but he is clearly an excellent addition. 

“We’ll have a little bit of time to plan things out. Obviously, things are going really well right now, and we’ll see what the future holds.” ShahZaM said. 

FaZe and Sentinels are itching for another chance to play each other in the grand finals, but FaZe must first get through the lower finals. They will face either Gen.G or Envy, and both teams have established themselves as powerhouses in this tournament. 

Sentinels will face the winner of the lower finals on March 21 at 2pm CT. 

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