Hubris? Sandbagging? Saving strats for Champions? Tired of winning? Whatever copium you want to huff, Sentinels fans, as Envy has confirmed suspicions that the best squad in the world looked shaky coming into Masters Berlin, knocking them out in quarter-finals.
Sentinels came as clear favourites after winning the first Masters event, but more importantly, dominating the opposition at Masters Reykjavik, the first Valorant international LAN, in which they didn't drop a single game.
Being placed alongside G2 Esports and F4Q, with the absence of Bren esports forcing a round-robin style group stage, Sentinels seemed to pick up where they left off, beating G2 in their first match, with a bit more complications than expected, 2-1.
Perhaps in what was a sign of things to come, G2 rectified their gameplan for match 2, beating Sentinels in convincing fashion, stealing the first seed with an east 2-0 victory, which included a disastrous 13-3 Icebox for the NA reps.
Despite faltering, many believed the LANimals would wake up in time for their match against Envy, a team that cruised past Keyd Stars and KRÜ in their group to secure a first seed, sadly, both Sentinels and their fanbase were met with harsh reality -- they simply were outmatched in Berlin.
With El Diablo Jaccob "Yay" Whiteaker putting outstanding performances throughout the event, the likes of Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan or Tyson "TenZ" Ngo simply couldn't keep up, particularly on map 2, Split, in which both ended up bottom fragging for Sentinels against 22 kills and a 175 ADR (Average Damage per Round) from Yay.
Despite dropping 30 kills on Haven, the decision to remove TenZ from his comfort Jett and Reyna picks for Split, making him lock the Raze, will be a controversial one, as he lacks the kit to suit his frantic playstyle, or at least one that allows him to try and get frags without over committing.
With this result, it will all come down to NA vs EMEA in the grand finals. Will that be 100 Thieves or Envy for North America? Is Gambit going to surge past G2 as the EMEA representative? It all remains to be seen.
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Header image via Valorant Esports.