Sentinels swept the Grand Finals of the VCT Reykjavik LAN against Fnatic on Sunday, claiming the first-ever VALORANT global championship for themselves and North America. As if winning were not enough, the team also was able to claim the victory without losing a single map during the entire tournament. It may be too soon to determine who the best region for VALORANT is, but one thing is clear, Sentinels are without question the best team in the world.
"It's crazy man," Sentinels In-Game Leader Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan said in the post-match interview. "We made this team over a year ago now, there was a lot of doubt . . . but like this proves the point, don't let anyone else tell you what you can and cannot do. Don't let others decide your future, we put the work in and we are here now."
Sentinels outlasted ten teams in total, winning four games to earn the victory through the winners bracket. They ended up defeating Fnatic during both their first and final match, as well as besting Team Vikings from Brazil in the Upper Bracket Round 2 and overcoming Korea's finest NUTURN Gaming in the Upper Bracket Finals.
"It was pretty easy for me, you know, I am just insane at every FPS," joked Sentinels player Jared "zombs" Gitlin when asked about what it was like to jump over to VALORANT and become the best. On a more serious note, he explained: "Our goal is to win the Champions event at the end of the year, this is just a stepping stone, we are going to win Champions"
When asked about how he handled the pressure, Tyson "TenZ" Ngo explained, "For me, it doesn't feel like I was nervous. You would think I would get nervous, especially with everyone remembering me from CS:GO LAN days. But you know, it's a new game, and It's just amazing man."
Sentinels believed in their VALORANT team from the beginning.
Sentinels were one of the earliest NA organizations to invest in a VALORANT roster. While some teams like Version1 only recently entered VALORANT, Sentinels signed their first VALORANT roster in April of 2020, before the game had even officially launched. And unlike many teams who have seen major roster changes over the past year, Sentinels have nearly their inaugural lineup still.
The only change to their lineup was the addition of Tyson "TenZ" Ngo in March. He is on loan from Cloud9, playing in place of the currently suspended Jay "sinatraa" won. Tenz has been a crucial part of this team's success during the Masters 2 Challengers phase and the Reykjavik LAN. Most notably, during the Grand Finals of this weekend's event, TenZ had an incredibly high win rate on his initiation duels and was a very reliable slayer throughout the entire tournament.
While TenZ was impressive, and SicK, Zombs, and dapr all more than carried their weight throughout the tournament, ShahZaM deserves a lot of credit for Sentinels' success. He has been a strong leader and consistently makes the right strategic calls during every match. Their flawless win at Masters 2 Reyjkavik is a testament to the chemistry the ShahZaM and the Sentinels have built over the past few months.
VALORANT is still very young, but as of now, following the first major, it's safe to say the Sentinels are the best VALORANT team ever. The question now is who can rise to their challenge, who can summon the courage and wherewithal to defeat Sentinels at Masters 3 Berlin and Champions later this year.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.