TenZ on staying with Sentinels and the importance of pistol rounds
North America has their representatives for Masters Reykjavík. The first team to qualify was, unsurprisingly, Sentinels. In a tournament that saw them defeat Version1, 100 Thieves, and Cloud9 Blue, all that remains is a rematch against V1 in the Grand Final. Regardless of that, they are on their way to Iceland. Following the match that saw them qualify against C9 Blue, Run It Back sat down with former C9 player Tyson “TenZ” Ngo. He expressed his pride in himself and the team, his intentions to remain a competitive player if it is with Sentinels, and how important winning those initial pistol rounds can be.
Run It Back: First and foremost, how in the world does it feel to be the first North American team to advance to Masters in Iceland?
TenZ: For me, I feel proud of both my team and myself. I think we have been playing well in recent tournaments. We won Masters 1 and Challengers 2. So, going into this tournament, we were in that winning period. We are just winning a lot.
Run It Back: We saw you take a step back from competitive Valorant to focus on streaming prior to joining the Sentinels roster. Is it safe to say you’re back for good at this point?
TenZ: If I am staying on Sentinels, yeah, I would be a competitive player until further notice.
Run It Back: You have probably heard this question a thousand times, The roster is a bit different now from when you were on Cloud9 Blue, but what are your feelings facing off against a team underneath that organization, former teammates, and even some of the new names that represent C9? Especially in these higher stakes matches?
TenZ: I was pretty impressed. We just came off that fresh win in the Challengers 2 Grand Final. It was a lot easier than this match. Especially on Split, they whipped out a new comp that we haven’t really seen. They kind of owned us with it.
Run It Back: So much is said about the importance of pistol rounds. There is no bigger way to start the day than with an Ace, as you did, and those pistol rounds clearly gave Sentinels the leg up in the first half of Haven. Cloud9 Blue took the pistol rounds of the second half to fight back into it. Then they all went to C9 on Split, which, of course, had the outcome it did. Icebox then saw Sentinels win that battle. In your words, how important are those rounds?
TenZ: Pistol rounds, if you play them properly, and the rounds afterwards, you basically get the pistol round and another free round. A lot of teams do an eco round where they just save. Sometimes, if they are feeling a bit risky, they might force buy. But you are still in the advantage after winning pistol because the money is higher. If they lose after that, then it is basically three rounds for free. It can really shift the momentum of the game.
Run It Back: Now, I have to bring up the almost defuse by mitch. It was a difference of 0.02 seconds that truly could have shifted the momentum. Did you realize it was that close?
TenZ: We definitely knew it was close. We just kind of laughed it off after he ended up dying to the Spike. It could have maybe tilted us if he did defuse. That would have just been us not comming properly.
Run It Back: At this point, we know FNATIC and Team Liquid are representing EMEA. We also know that Vision Strikers will not be making the trip to Iceland. Do you have any expectations for Masters or perhaps any match ups you’d like to be a part of?
TenZ: To be quite honest, I haven’t really been paying attention to other regions that much or watching their matches. Coming into Iceland, from my side, I don’t really have any expectations or excitement to play a certain team.
*Questions and answers may have been edited or altered for clarity and fluidity.*
Stay tuned to Run It Back for more player interviews and Valorant Champions Tour coverage!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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