Sentinels came into Stage One Masters as a team bearing a ton of drama, just a few hours of practice, and a whole heap of talent. With like-minded play and some fantastic coordination, the talent proved supreme in the first week of play. Stropse had the opportunity to sit down with Sentinels replacement star Tyson “TenZ” Ngo to discuss his first week of play in Valorant Masters.
Sentinels shut down both opponents faced so far in the first Valorant Masters tournament, beating Luminosity Gaming 2-1 before whooping 100 Thieves 2-0 to advance to the Upper Bracket Finals to face FaZe Clan.
Comfort Through Coordination
“Basically, we got on at check-in time, so like, an hour before the match. [My teammates] were just, kind of explaining to me what they normally do,” TenZ told Stropse.
That was, for the most part, all the planning Sentinels had going into its matches. “They play a really loose style, so it was easy to fit in,” TenZ said. Sentinels came in with the idea to play loose, just let TenZ do his own thing, and hope he shows at least some of the domination he brought to Cloud9.
“I definitely was feeling confident, because I know that I play best when I’m comfy, and I’m smiling.”
TenZ is a player who thrives in the chaos of gunfights. Sentinels let him play his own game and take the duels he wanted to while the rest of the team facilitated him with utility and coordination.
“I’d say it felt pretty natural, because sinatraa was their kind of X-factor player, and he’d just do his own thing and the rest of them are in a pack. Basically, it’s kind of like the same thing with C9. I just do my own thing, and they kind of work around it.”
This facilitation of TenZ was something Cloud9 always seemed to be on the cusp of, but with Sentinels, it just clicked instantly. Sentinels played a contact style of Valorant with TenZ, forcing as many duels as possible and giving their star carry as many opportunities as possible to pop off. He delivered big time.
It felt like with each duel, TenZ just got stronger and stronger, and it didn’t matter what tactics or maneuvers the opponents brought out. Everyone knew that at the end of the round, TenZ would just outgun them and win.
Going Absolutely Off
“It was a blur and kind of hectic.”
The clinic TenZ put on in the first week of the first Valorant Masters tournament was one of the most impressive (and hyped) performances in all of professional play so far.
What’s even more impressive is that this tournament is TenZ’s first competitive experience since stepping down from Cloud9’s competitive roster back in December. “It’s definitely fun for me, to come back and play my debut match after a little bit of a break.”
While his contract situation remains foggy, it hasn’t slowed down TenZ in slightest. The 19-year-old Canada native was buying Operators on attacking rounds in situations where it was probably best to keep the sniper in the shop. TenZ didn’t care: he was cutting through his opponents anyway.
While TenZ looked just as good, if not better, in those two matches with Sentinels than he ever did with Cloud9, his future still remains up in the air. No one truly knows where the fragger will end up after Valorant Masters. TenZ admitted he wanted to remain in the competitive scene, but decided to take a step back in December, explaining, “With C9, there were unfortunate circumstances, with me not being as happy as I could be. I started to play poorly, and it showed in my game.”
The Valorant star did note that continuing to compete with Sentinels is “definitely a consideration” of his, but it’s impossible to say what the future holds in store.
TenZ and Sentinels will face off against the red-hot FaZe Clan on Friday to determine who will get a spot in the Valorant Masters Grand Final. FaZe Clan better be come to the match prepared though, because TenZ will certainly be ready and waiting for them.