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Zellsis says being sidelined hurts, but Sentinels winning VALORANT Champions comes first Dot Esports

When Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro returned to Sentinels’ VALORANT roster and took on the sixth-man role, he said he had to “swallow his pride” and accept he may not play at all. But one of the new faces of Sentinels’ content says winning an international event is more important than anything.

During the VCT Americas Kickoff media scrum yesterday, Dot Esports asked Zellsis about taking the sixth-man opportunity offered by Sentinels this past offseason. While he had offers to play in the Pacific or EMEA regions, he ended up with Sentinels because of the job security that was offered, but also because he felt that joining up with Sentinels would provide the best opportunity for him to lift a trophy—even if it meant he might never see time on the server.

G2 trent and Sentinels Zellsis shake hands during an offseason VALORANT match.
No shortage of competition this year. Photo via @Sentinels on X

“I knew coming in as a sixth man there was a chance that I wasn’t going to get to play,” Zellsis said. “I kind of came to terms with that when I made that decision. Obviously it hurt really bad; watching the guys scrim makes me want to play even more.”

At least during this offseason/preseason stretch, Zellsis has gotten plenty of time to play with his Sentinels teammates, filling in at more than one offseason event for multiple starters and in different roles. He was a key part in helping Sentinels lift their first piece of hardware in some time at the AfreecaTV VALORANT League last December. But Zellsis had a bigger trophy in mind when he chose Sentinels, no matter the risk or the cost.

“I feel like no matter how my career goes, at the end if I haven’t won [Champions] or a Masters or both, I’ve failed,” he said. “My entire esports career I was always chasing the riskiest option to win. I had to swallow my pride when I made my decision this year.”

It wouldn’t be completely shocking to see Zellsis get a significant amount of playing time during VCT Americas this year. During the press conference, he declined to share what the starting roster will look like in a couple of weeks, telling the media we’d have to “wait and see.” The VCT Americas Kickoff event starts on Feb. 16, with Sentinels facing LOUD in their opener on Feb. 17.

When asked about any regrets in terms of taking on a sixth-man role instead of pursuing a starting job, Zellsis made it very clear: “No. Never.”

Scott Robertson

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