Masters Reykjavik Grand Final — Sentinels vs. Fnatic recap
The day has finally arrived. After a long week of Valorant action at Masters Reykjavik, only two teams remained. The North American Sentinels faced the European Fnatic squad in a match that will go down in history as the first international LAN final in Valorant. After a clean Upper Bracket run, Sentinels were the favorites going into this one. Meanwhile, Fnatic have overcome Team Liquid and NUTURN Gaming on Day 6 to be where they are today.
Split kicked us off with Grand Final action as Sentinels decided that would be the opener. The NA team picked up the pistol and the follow-up after Tyson “TenZ” Ngo picked up a 4k on Raze. Fnatic finally retaliated on round three to pick up their first round of the BO5 encounter. SEN started to gradually run away with the lead as great site entries led them to go 5:1. After Fnatic caught up to 5:2 a long technical pause ensued afterwards. When we were back online, Fnatic retook the B site investing Astra’s Cosmic Divide bringing them within reach at 5:3. Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s 3k went on to see Fnatic come within reach at 6:5. However, it was Sentinels that grabbed the last round of the half to get a slight lead at 7:5 at half time.
SEN carried over the mojo to take yet another pistol after a fantastic Hunter “SicK” Mims’ 2k to drop Fnatic’s Spike and guarantee them the round. The NA team continued rolling on defense. Jared “zombs” Gitlin got himself a great 4k around the A site, utilizing the Spectre and smokes to his advantage to put up his side 10:5. Fnatic finally got their first round on attack after Domagoj “Doma” Fancev opened things up with the Sheriff to clinch the round. This was a buffer for Fnatic to chase their opponents as they great all-around site entries brought the EU team to make it all square at 10:10. An extremely back-and-forth matchup ensued in the final rounds of the half as a force with inferior weapons across the board for SEN reigned supreme to bring us to overtime.
Overtime on Split continued being hectic. The NA side grabbed their round on attack leaving Martin “Magnum” Peňkov in a 1v4 as he got overpowered in the end. Fnatic continued being shutdown on their attacking round as stellar defense from the NA team guaranteed them the necessary round to see them take their own map pick at a tight 14:12.
Fnatic brought out the big guns on the pistol, revolving their gameplay around Viper’s utility to bag it home. The follow-up round went in similar fashion as the EU side were back in the game. SEN retaliated on round three by holding certain chokepoints properly to make Fnatic run out of time, making it 2:1. Fnatic kept on rolling from there, as they went up 5:1 to get in the driver’s seat. Boaster denied the defuse by utilizing the Orbital Strike paired with a 3k to bring Fnatic to 6:2. Sentinels brought it back to 7:4 afterwards. Hopes were high for the NA team to bring it closer but TenZ was left in a 1v3 and being toyed with while attempting to defuse the Spike before getting taken down. The half went in favor of Fnatic at 8:4.
The second half saw a spike defuse come in from Fnatic in the nick of time as Mistic got himself a 3k to close the round out after Boaster stuck the defuse. SEN were quick to punch back. An eco round on Sheriffs mostly went in favor of SEN. That was followed up with a 4k from SicK, resulting in a 9:6 deficit for Sentinels. The momentum was all Sentinels from there as the duo of TenZ and SicK were unstoppable on Bind’s attack, resulting in a tie at 9:9. Fnatic finally punched back with a round of their own after SEN were up 10:9 to square it off. Once again an intense match emerged. Sentinels saw themselves being up 12:11 and in a 2v2 situation. Despite TenZ‘s key frags, Fnatic managed to clinch the retake to once more see us going to overtime.
Sentinels’ defense side on OT seemed stellar as ever, eventually leaving Magnum in a 1v4 to just fall. Fnatic were once more on top of the retake game on defense following Magnum‘s 3k to leave dapr in a tight 1v2 as he would finally die to send it to double overtime.
Once again Sentinels were impeccable on the defense, shutting down Fnatic as they attempted a B push. The hectic matchup would continue as Fnatic’s Doma and Magnum duo saved the day for Fnatic to take it to triple overtime. A patient play from SEN on defense led them to taking yet anothe round as Fnatic’s push was denied yet again. On attack, the duo of ShahZaM and dapr eventually closed it out to end the triple OT in their favor at 16:14.
Sentinels started out on attack on the third map, Haven. A free A site entry saw Fnatic show how retakes are done as it was the EU team to take the pistol. The follow-up went their way as well as they got the early lead. A sneaky play by Boaster on C was sure to net Fnatic another round but he only managed to get one, resulting in SEN taking the round. They followed up the successful play with another as it was all square at 2:2. At a 3:2 score for SEN, ShahZaM came out big to clutch out a 1v2 round to bring SEN to 4:2.
SEN were looking to fly away with Haven at Masters Reykjavik. Fantastically executed site entries especially down C long were the bane of Fnatic as the EU team was struggling to find their footing. A 8:3 lead was the story at that point in time. Finally, Fnatic managed to have the last say in the half after Mistic cleaned up with a 3k to end the half at 9:4 in favor of SEN.
Fnatic came into the attacking side angrier than ever. Straight two rounds went their way as they finally started to get a feel for Haven. Another efficient A site push resulted in Fnatic creeping in close on SEN at a 9:7 scoreline. Another fantastic stride on Jett’s Bladestorm saw Derke shut down Sentinels’ attempt to retake C. Six straight rounds from Fnatic saw Boaster and co. bring it all the way back to 9:9.
Fnatic’s comeback was successful but left a lot to be desired as Sentinels woke up to take the next 3 rounds to bring them within match point. Fnatic punched back with a great lurk kill from garage by Magnum to clean up the remaining two players. All things were pointing towards yet another overtime after Fnatic took the C site with SEN being locked out. However, perfect use of utility led them to taking back what’s theirs. In the end, no overtime was needed for Sentinels to perform the perfect 3-0 sweep against Fnatic at 13:11.
Sentinels are your VCT Masters Reykjavik champions. Not only that, the NA side went undefeated throughout the tournament. Sentinels have made history.
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Naim "EnKay" Rosinski
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