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VCT Americas LCQ featured two massive names for North America fighting for a spot in VALORANT Champions 2023. 100 Thieves vs. Sentinels was easily the most anticipated matchup in the bracket and it delivered for fans of both sides.

The road to this match saw both teams building hype towards the game and had many pros commenting on the outcome of the match and what a win would mean for either team. Both FNS and yay predicted that the players were fighting for their jobs as the losing team will look to have a roster rebuild for the next year.

Although these comments were likely half-joking, both organizations have made large changes to their VALORANT rosters recently due to underwhelming performances. Sentinels had changed their head coach and replaced their original IGL earlier this season, and 100 Thieves famously rebuilt its entire roster midway through 2022 while managing to qualify for Valorant Champions last year.

Analyzing the Match

100 Thieves chose Pearl to start off the series but Sentinels showed that their defense was on-point, leading to a 9-3 score at the side switch. After the side swap at the half however, the momentum of the match had also swapped sides.

An outstanding performance by Cryocells allowed 100 Thieves to completely turn the match around and score their own 9-3 half, leading to a final score of 12-14 and 100 Thieves winning game one.

Their unconventional composition with Harbor and Omen worked for 100 Thieves on Pearl, so they decided to keep Sentinels guessing with a Chamber pick on map two.

100 Thieves took a while to find their footing on Split, but once Cryocells got an Operator in his hands, their defensive profile really started to shine. After their economy was able to keep Cryocells well-fed with the Operator, they closed out the half with an 8-5 score in favor of Sentinels.

Unfortunately, after the side swap, 100 Thieves’ poor performance on attack made a return from Pearl. Sentinels went on to dominate the match and win all eight of their attacking rounds for a 13-7 scoreline that forced the series to a deciding map.

The final map of the series on Bind was perhaps the most interesting due to what seemed to be a gentlemen’s agreement for both teams to select Yoru, an agent who had not seen serious play in a long time.

Both Yoru players were putting in work, but it was TenZ who had the larger impact. He continuously dominated his half of the map on Sentinels’ attack, and with zekken on Raze, their double duelist composition allowed an aggressive playstyle to keep 100 Thieves on the back foot.

After 100 Thieves were beaten down on defense, they had to figure out how to play offense to keep their season alive. Cryocells tried to carry his team to victory with back-to-back 3k’s to open their attack, followed by an ace to keep his team alive a couple rounds later.

Eventually though, 100 Thieves had to slip up at some point against Sentinels’ consistent teamwork and mechanical ability. Besides Cryocells leading the series with 65 kills and 18 first bloods, 100T struggled to find consistent impact. Every member of Sentinels had a positive K/D ratio by the end of the series, whereas most 100 Thieves players struggled to keep a positive ratio.

The Aftermath

With Sentinels winning the match, and the bragging rights, their Twitter went straight for Nadeshot after the VALORANT community figured out the consequences for this match before it started.

TenZ and the rest of the team would also have some words for the fans after the match, but they knew the match against Cloud9 would be the real test to avoid dropping into the lower bracket for as long as possible.

100 Thieves players would post their apologies to the fans and stellar would share his uncertainty for the future of him and his team.

As for the future matches, Sentinels would be knocked out by Leviatán after getting dropped to loser’s bracket due to Cloud9, both previously mentioned teams would play a very close match in the loser’s finals with Leviatán moving on to rematch KRÜ Esports.

The final match between two South American rosters would be settled with a close 3-1 victory for KRÜ Esports, this victory means they will be moving onto VCT Champions 2023 and play against Paper Rex in Group A.

Written by Andy Haggard

This article was created as part of an internship collaboration with NACE