Why Sentinels won against Faze in VCT Finals
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In the grand finals of the Valorant Champions Tour for North America, Sentinels dominated FaZe Clan across all three maps despite having Cloud9’s Tyson “TenZ” Ngo filling in for Jay “sinatraa” Won—following the recent alleged sexual assault allegations. Without much time to prepare with TenZ, Sentinels still dominated, only dropping one map to Luminosity in their opening match. However, in the finals against FaZe, Sentinels had their most dominant performance and won the series 3-0. Here’s a look into the main reason why that happened.

The overview

Despite maps one and two being very close, FaZe Clan’s mistakes were still obvious in the matchup. FaZe Clan is a team with a lot of firepower and, as a result, they love playing aggressively. However, Sentinels exploited this time and time again across all three maps.

On Ascent, the aggressive flanks on the defensive side worked for FaZe at first; with Corey “corey” Nigra catching off Hunter “SicK” Mims in a 3v5 retake. However, Sentinels figured this out and adjusted their setups across the rest of the series. On Bind A site, after Andrej “Babybay” Francisty got an important opening kill, Sentinels expected him to push CT and they held the angle for ten seconds. The read from Sentinels equalized the round into a winnable 3v3 retake and they were able to win the round.

Another example took place on Haven when FaZe tried pushing up A site sewers. This was done where Michael “dapr” Gulino used his Cypher cameras to easily ping these players and get openings. But, if FaZe played in a different way, they would have had better results.

Sentinels hold for Baybay’s push

What Sentinels did differently

Unlike FaZe, Sentinels practiced controlled aggression with some great reads by in-game leader, Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan. For example, whenever ShahZaM saw FaZe aggressively pushing a certain location, he told TenZ to push the opposite side of the map. At first, FaZe expected this and picked off TenZ. But, with Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen needing help in countering the aggressive showers setup, FaZe moved more players towards A at the beginning of rounds. This gave TenZ free rein to push up B to gain essential map control. And this led to an opening pick for Sentinels or the rotation of the other B site player to reinforce the A site.

If FaZe had practiced the same controlled aggression, they would have had better results and possibly may have taken map one to give them a chance in the series.

Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.