Sentinels were edged out by Team Liquid in a three-game thriller at Valorant Champions, but it only convinced Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo that his team has everything they need to avenge the loss and make a deep run in Berlin.
Sentinels skipped out on instantly qualifying for the Valorant Champions knockout stage after the team conceded Group B’s top seed to Liquid. The NA powerhouse made crucial adjustments to their lineup in preparation for today’s game which didn’t produce the results they were hoping for.
Liquid stuck to the KAY/O meta that did wonders to shut down TenZ’s Jett on the first map of Breeze. That derailed the 20-year-old enough to have a mortal 109.7 ADR in the opening game they eventually lost.
“[Team Liquid] are pushing like a new meta with KAY/O which I think is pretty good,” TenZ told Dexerto. “If you’re not used to playing against KAY/O then he can be a little bit difficult to handle.”
That’s a driving reason the Valorant ace thinks his Sentinels team can only get better from their loss. Though Liquid won on the day, TenZ doesn’t think they were entirely outclassed by the EMEA LCQ champions.
“[It’s] been a while since we played matches so we’re still making certain mistakes,” he said. “I think there were like certain rounds that we could have won that maybe would have changed the outcome of maps like Breeze or Split.
“But at the end of the day, I would say it was probably the small things. Gotta grind it out for the next match.”
Sentinels were forced to play reactive to Liquid’s initial aggressions. That’s already unfamiliar territory for the Masters Iceland champions, who’ve distinguished themselves all year as having one of the most debilitating offenses in Valorant.
Problems would then mount for the Americans once their talisman would go down early in a round. TenZ was tied for most first deaths in the series at 11, matching Team Liquid’s Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom.
While it might not have been a deciding factor in their loss, it was hard to ignore in the closing map on Split. TenZ had a game-high first deaths tally (5) on the final map that was decided by only three rounds.
On Bind, we got a look at what Sentinels can be against teams like Liquid if everything is clicking. The only instance of a definitively one-sided affair was the Red-and-Black’s only win on their map pick that ended 13-2.
But the series got a lot closer on maps they didn’t choose. Still, Sentinels stuck to their untraditional comps which didn’t go unnoticed by TenZ.
“We originally switched it up and it was doing quite well in scrims, but obviously there are some adjustments we need to make to succeed further with this composition,” TenZ said.
The Canadian star noted how he was off picks like Raze and Rayna, while IGL Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan and Hunter ‘SicK’ Mims were on Skye and Sage, respectively.
Though this approach was formidable enough to take Liquid to three maps, Sentinels will have to do more tinkering for it to produce meaningful results at Valorant Champions.