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Absolute cinema: Sentinels hold off fast-finishing LOUD to win VCT Americas Kickoff Dot Esports

The Sentinels have today proved they’re the top VALORANT team in the Americas, winning the grand finals against LOUD to become the VCT Americas Kickoff champions. And it was absolute cinema from start to finish.

The SEN squad started strong in the best-of-five grand finals match against LOUD, with TenZ, zekken, Sacy, johnqt, and Zellsis taking the first two maps on Sunset and Split. The Brazilian team kept the series alive by winning the next two maps on Icebox and Bind, but SEN ultimately claimed the victory on Lotus and took the series, 3-2.

Sentinels teammates huddled together for a match.
The Sentinels are off to a great start this year. Image via Sentinels

But despite their strong showing in the grand finals, SEN had to grind and claw their way back throughout the whole Americas Kickoff. In fact, it was LOUD who knocked SEN into the lower bracket in the first round of the event. From there, SEN had to take down the likes of 100T and Leviatán, and then make it out of groups. Their biggest hurdle, however, came in their semifinals match against the NRG dream team with Ethan, Victor, crashies, Marved, and Demon1. That win not only secured SEN’s ticket to VCT Masters Madrid, but also proved this Sentinels team is the one to watch out for among the Americas team.

Today’s win against LOUD was both sweet revenge and a much-needed win for the new SEN VALORANT roster, which added Zellsis and their brilliant IGL, johnqt. The team struggled all of last season, failing to attend any international events outside of LOCK//IN São Paulo, but their win today could be the turning point for the org.

At the top of the leaderboards was none other than TenZ, who has been shifting to more of a flex role, playing controller on Omen, initiator on KAY/O, and duelist on Yoru in this series alone. Interestingly, in all three maps won by SEN in the finals, TenZ was playing Omen. He looked right at home between this series and the semifinals, making big plays with his Shrouded Step teleport and playing beautifully around dangerous smokes.

The next time we’ll see TenZ and SEN is in Madrid, where they’ll have to face qualified teams from the Pacific, EMEA, China. This includes Gen.G, Paper Rex, Karmine Corp, Team Heretics, EDward Gaming, and FunPlus Phoenix. We may even get another SEN–LOUD rematch, since the runner-ups also qualified for the next Masters.

With VCT big threats like NRG, Fnatic, and DRX already confirmed to be missing Madrid, another big #SENWIN could be looming on the horizon for SEN City.

Karli Iwamasa

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