What is going on with Sentinels?!

What is going on with Sentinels?!

16. March 2023 by Andrew Williams

The North American VALORANT Pro Team Sentinels have had a bumpy roller coaster ride. From winning in Reykjavik, to being surprisingly eliminated in the group stage in Berlin, to missing out on qualifying for Copenhagen. Since then, Sentinels has tried out and signed some of the biggest talents. And still the successes failed to materialize. This begs the question: what’s going on with Sentinels?

So much talent, so little success

It seems like Sentinels have a problem utilizing talent. After all, on paper, the North Americans sign superstars across the board. Currently, Gustavo ‘Sacy’ Rossi and Bryan ‘pANcada’ Luna, two reigning champions, and Zachary ‘zekken’ Patrone, a Challengers winner, wear the Sentinels jersey. Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo and Rory ‘dephh’ Jackson remain among the greatest North American Valorant talents. And yet, this team is losing. Sentinels finished their big debut at VCT LOCK//IN without winning a single map.

Sentinels can’t get a grip

Now they even went a step further and replaced Hunter ‘sicK’ Mims, who was prevented by unfortunate circumstances, with Jimmy ‘Marved’ Nguyen as the  6th player on the roster. What could be the reason for this? Did they plan to get rid of a player? Was the money loose and they just wanted to have a 6th superstar player on the roster?

Or could it even be that they simply wanted to take the key player away from the competition? Even if the latter may sound quite bizarre, on reflection it makes sense. When Bundesliga soccer team FC Bayern started buying up BVB talent almost a decade ago, it also took a while for the public to figure out what Bayern was up to. Cloud 9 is currently looking for a replacement for the sacked Anthony ‘vanity’ Malaspina. Jimmy ‘Marved’ Nguyen could have filled the void seamlessly: the two flex mains had a similar agent pool focused on Killjoy, which currently finds use on just about every map. Now it looks like Jake ‘jakee’ Anderson will fill the void. He too is a flex main, but comes from the T2 scene and will certainly have trouble living up to expectations.

Perhaps the players are also to blame

But you could also turn the tables and ask yourself why these talented players want to move in rows to an organization that obviously can’t stage talent? Is it the fat paycheck, the attention, or naiveté that it might work out after all? In any case, the last respectable tournament finish was almost two years ago. To leave the matter in the village: Sentinels is a huge, respectable organization.

With Don ‘SyykoNT’ Muir and Adam ‘kaplan’ Kaplan and Drew ‘DrewSpark’ Spark-Whitworth, they have some of the brightest minds on the scene working for them in the background. Maybe Jimmy ‘Marved’ Nguyen will replace Rory ‘dephh’ Jackson and a new IGL structure will be worked out. But it could also be that the team just needs more time and will find success in the long run. They may also have more going for them than the blunder at VCT LOCK//IN suggests. After all, they lost to the tournament winner. If they had gotten an easier bracket, the outcome might have been different.