The Valorant Ignition circuit has been heating up in North America, as top esports organisations look to make waves early in the life of Riot's tactical shooter.
Coming into the PAX Arena invitational, squads like TSM, T1, and Gen.G were considered by many as the best teams in the region, with the likes of Sentinels a step or two below them, which to the surprise of many, ended up making a strong statement by convincingly taking the tournament beating Cloud9 in the best-of-five finals (13-11, 6-13, 13-11, and 13-7)
The squad led by high-profile names like Hunter "SicK" Mims and Jay "Sinatraa" Won tore through the competition ending up the group stages with a 4-0 record without dropping a single game against Cloud9, Complexity Gaming, and Renegades.
Securing a win against Gen.G in the next round, perhaps in one of the most impressive displays of professional Valorant to date, Sentinels blew TSM out of the water with scores of 13-3 and 13-4 guided by Sinatraa's remarkable performance that saw him end with a 1.8 K/D ratio (38-21).
When it came to the grand finals, it was all about SicK for Sentinels, coming in clutch when the team needed it the most and ending the match with a 1v3 (sick) highlight that perfectly resumes how they secured the win.
For Cloud9, Tyson "Tenz" Ngo's antics weren't enough. While the Canadian continues his top-level performances individually, being one of the reasons his squad took Haven with relative ease 13-6, it seems C9 still needs a more consistent team synergy across the board, as most of their eco rounds heavily relied on Tenz's ability to make do with Jett's ultimate.
A bit on the unremarkable side, both Josh "Shinobi" Abastado, and Daniel "Vice" Kim ended with .66 and .73 K/D ratios. Most of their impactful contributions indeed come in the form of scouting as characters like Sova and Cypher, however, it seemed clear (at least mechanically) they were completely outshone by the opposition.
As the Ignition series continues, Riot has not announced any upcoming tournaments for North America, with the Mandatory Cup (EMEA) and RAGE tournament (Japan) being the last ones remaining.