Valorant star Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan has provided some context to his heated exchange with Sentinels on Twitter, where he also locked horns with the organization’s CEO.
ShahZaM made headlines late on January 12 after accusing Sentinels of breaking a promise made to him when the organization was weighing up adding Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek to the team for the 2022 Valorant Champions last-chance qualifier.
His claims came in response to a ‘spin the wheel for strategies’ skit video posted by the North American organization featuring head coach Don ‘Sykko’ Muir and star player Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo.
According to ShahZaM, Sentinels guaranteed that he would be part of the lineup for the international league if he agreed to play with shroud for “hype”. But as the off-season came, Sentinels moved on from several pieces of the team, including ShahZaM, who eventually joined NA Challengers side G2 Esports.
During a subsequent live stream, ShahZaM explained that he thought the skit video was “in really bad taste,” explaining that Sentinels took shots “at the very same players they did dirty and f**ked over in multiple ways.”
“I took a shot back as banter,” he said. “I hadn’t said anything about it [before]. They fired shots, I fired shots back.”
ShahZaM’s version of the events was rejected by Sentinels CEO Rob Moore, who criticized the player’s attitude and alleged lack of commitment throughout the 2022 season.
After accusing Moore of lying on Twitter, ShahZam doubled down on his criticism of the Sentinels chief on his stream.
“He’s blatantly lying to save face,” ShahZam said. “Honestly, it’s just sad.”
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ShahZaM leaps to shroud’s defense
ShahZaM also rejected suggestions that he was taking aim at shroud with his tweet. The former CS:GO pro turned streamer joined Sentinels amid much fanfare but could not help the team qualify for Valorant Champions as they crashed out of the qualifier in 5th-6th place.
The G2 captain insisted that his tweet was “all focused on the org”, saying that shroud “played exceptionally well” in the qualifier.
“My tweet had nothing to do with taking a jab at shroud,” he stressed. “He was asked to play, he came in, he wanted to play, and gave his all. He outperformed everyone’s expectations.
“He came in with the most hard-working ethic and attitude. He put in more effort than anyone could have expected.”
But despite praising shroud’s attitude and performances in the qualifier, ShahZaM admitted that the addition of the Canadian streamer to the team did little to quieten the criticism that the players had faced since the start of the year for the poor domestic results.
“Going into LCQ, Sentinels is a f**king meme,” he said. “People thought that all we did was stream and that we didn’t care about winning. Everyone thought that we were a f**king meme, we just made money, we just cared about streams and we didn’t want to win. That was the narrative around our team.
“LCQ was our last opportunity to change that before franchise, before essentially all the rosters got shuffled and it turned into the Wild West. It was like training grounds, the last chance for players to prove themselves.
“Bringing in shroud, compared to an existing pro, kind of pushed that narrative forward. That was the only thing. It further enforced that narrative that we didn’t care about winning.”