ShahZaM would be confident playing FaZe in Grand Final
The highly anticipated series between Sentinels and FaZe Clan in the Upper Final of VCT NA Stage 1 Masters went in a completely different direction than most expected. FaZe Clan were as hot as could be, but Sentinels brought the fire extinguisher. They defeated FaZe Clan in a quick 2:0 match up. That guaranteed Sentinels a Top 2 finish and a spot in the Grand Final. Run It Back was lucky enough to speak with Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan, the in-game leader of Sentinels, after their victory. He was not shy with his confidence against FaZe Clan, during previous meetings and in future ones.
Run It Back: It was quite the breaking news when TenZ was acquired by Sentinels. How would you say he is meshing with the team? Is his performance more him or more blending in well with the entire squad?
ShahZaM: It is definitely a mix of both. He is an extremely talented player, but he also plugs right into the role we needed. I let him takeover Jett for some maps. I picked up the Sova. We just plugged him into the things we do. He is just really versatile and does everything well. He is the best possible pickup we could’ve have gotten.
Run It Back: FaZe Clan has constantly said how they are trying to bring a new style of play to Valorant. They have been on quite the roll. Did both Icebox and Haven go as expected or were you surprised by, what some would call, a blowout?
ShahZaM: Personally, it was expected. Every time we play against them, we match up really well. There was a lot of hype around them after winning Challengers 3, but that didn’t include the first four teams that qualified. I think they got really overhyped, as much as I respect them as players. They’re extremely talented. Tactically, though, they aren’t as strong as some of these other teams we’ve played. We were able to read their gameplay really well.
Run It Back: I brought this up when speaking with dapr previously. The last handful of events saw you guys make your runs through the Lower Bracket. Did that motivate you to clean house in the Upper Bracket this time around? To keep things a bit more comfortable in the end?
ShahZaM: We have a tendency to make it difficult for ourselves. With everything that happened before this tournament, we decided we weren’t going to mess around. We were going to do our prep and really focus up. To try and make this run as clean as possible. Playing a Grand Final with a map disadvantage is really frustrating. Turns out this one doesn’t have a map advantage, though.
Run It Back: When I spoke with corey after FaZe Clan’s match with XSET. He said that Sentinels is their only rival right now, that Sentinels is the only team they need to prove themselves against. Do you feel like it is a rivalry?
ShahZaM: We’re pretty close to them, the Overwatch guys on our team and their Overwatch players. We’re just really friendly personalities. I think there is a rivalry, where we are friends, but you don’t want to lose your friends. I really like playing them. They’re extremely talented, but we’ve had the match up for the most part. I wouldn’t say it is as much of a rivalry as us versus TSM or 100 Thieves, but it is definitely still there.
Run It Back: Would you prefer to beat them one more time in this Masters event or are you prepared for whoever ends up on the other side of the server when that Grand Final series arrives?
ShahZaM: We aren’t going to underestimate anyone. I would definitely like to play them again in the finals, though, because our styles match up so well. I would be pretty confident going against them again.
Congratulations to ShahZam and Sentinels for making to the Grand Final of the first NA VCT Masters tournament. Stay tuned to Run It Back for more Champions Tour coverage, including player interviews!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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