Sentinels sweep Version1 to claim the NA Challengers Finals championship
NA Challengers Finals saw a weekend of action-packed Valorant. It may have delivered some of the best games that North America has seen since competitive started to thrive. Sentinels battled through the Upper Bracket, defeating Version1 in the Quarterfinals, then 100 Thieves and Cloud9 Blue. Version1 clawed their way through the Lower Bracket after that first loss, with wins over Andbox, NRG, Team Envy, and Cloud9 Blue. While Sentinels and Version1 have both qualified for Masters Reykjavík in Iceland, one more series had to take place. The Grand Final would give momentum to the top NA representing the region at Valorant’s first international LAN event.
The Grand Final of NA Challengers Finals began with two Vipers and Anthony “vanity” Malaspina locking in Yoru on Bind. While Sentinels easily took the first two rounds, Version1 got on the board with their first full buy. Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro tied the rounds with a 3K. V1 took a short lead, but Sentinels quickly evened it out. Another lead for V1 came on the back of a Maxim “wippie” Shepelev 3K. A big 1v2 Clutch from Jared “zombs” Gitlin tied it once more. V1 was able to pull ahead before halftime.
The second half began with a score of 7:5. Sentinels won the pistol round which set them up nicely for the following to tie the game. The lead was theirs shortly after. Their defensive side on Bind was where they truly shined. The SEN economy was extremely strong, making it hard for Version1 to make any sort of comeback. A 4K from Hunter “SicK” Mims put Sentinels to match point. A Flawless round followed and 13:8 was the final score of Bind. Michael “dapr” Gulino dominated on Viper with a KDA of 21-11-2.
Sentinels started Haven with a sold pistol round victory on attack. The next round was all theirs, but what followed was insane. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo went into the third round with a Marshal in his hands. Incredibly, he took out three Version1 players as they looked to defuse the Spike. The fourth was his demise and the defuse was successful. While V1 was able to take some more rounds, Sentinels looked amazing, as they usually do on Haven. 8:4 was their lead heading to their defensive side.
Version1 immediately got their fifth round. Following that, Loic “effys” Sauvageau put them to six with a 4K. Sentinels put a halt to any sort of streak with a great delay that saw time run out before the Spike was planted. The next round saw the opposite occur. V1 got the Spike down and caused a delay of their own, allowing it to detonate and keep up their second half success. Sentinels fought their way to double digits, eventually reaching 11 rounds. V1 kept it as close as they could, but Sentinels finished their second map victory 13:9 by way of a 3K from SicK.
It was only fitting that the final map Sentinels needed to win before they travel to Iceland was Icebox. Version1 hoped to prevent that and at least take the series to Ascent. They started off on a good note, winning a close pistol round. As is common, V1 took the following round, too. Once Sentinels could buy, though, they took a round with a TenZ 3K. Their second came in similar fashion. A big 3K round by Erik “penny” Penny kept SEN from tying the game. Another 3K by penny came next. Still, Sentinels with Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan on the Operator and Sheriff made it six a piece at halftime.
Sentinels took the lead with the pistol round and extended it rather quickly. ShahZaM continued his fragging with a 4K. Their attacking side on Icebox went by extremely fast. The team reached 10 rounds and were ready to sweep the series. TenZ pulled out a great 4K, but penny responded with a 4K of his own to get the defuse and keep V1 alive for a bit longer. The multikill rounds just kept coming by penny as they closed in. Sentinels struck back to reach 11, however. The 12th round came on a massive near-Clutch by wippie that saw the Spike detonate. Shortly after, Sentinels finished it off 13:9. Once more, SEN has swept a Grand Final series.
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Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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