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Sentinels impressed with a win over 100 Thieves on the opening day of VALORANT Champions Tour Americas 2023. The new roster featuring Gustavo "Sacy" Rossi and Bryan "pANcada" Luna, who joined at the end of last year from VCT 2022 champion LOUD, exceeded expectations in their inital bout vs 100, but came crashing down to earth against arguably North America's best team in NRG Esports the following week.

On Lotus, Sentinels was able to keep things competitive with NRG. SEN were down 9-3 after the first half, but stormed back to make things competitive in the second half before ultimately falling short of a full comeback by a score of 13-10. Icebox, on the other hand, was the most one-sided map in any match of VCT Americas thus far -- NRG Esports seemingly suffocated SEN off of the map to the tune of a 13-2 shellacking for a 2-0 NRG match win.

"We knew that they were going to play slow, but I think that we were giving up a little too much map control," said Sentinels ace Tyson "TenZ" Ngo. "They kind of info-starved us and made us gamble a lot, especially when we were on defense on Lotus. We definitely played a lot more scared today than we do in practice, and it was unfortunate that we weren't able to identify the issue right away and make an adaptation."

Through two weeks of VCT Americas competition, NRG does look like a slightly stronger team than 100 Thieves, but TenZ attributes a lot of SEN's struggles to their own underperformance as well: "Our energy, vibes, and overall communication were just off today ... Our teamwork wasn't on par with what we expect when we practice."

Sentinels' roster hasn't been competing together through very long, and TenZ is confident that, while maps like Icebox against NRG may happen in the early phases, the strengths of the squad will shine through more and more as the roster begins to gel. "This iteration of Sentinels plays a lot more structured and as a team," TenZ said. "It does look really bad if we don't play as a team, but we're for sure going to learn from this loss and improve from it. The good thing is we can't look as bad as we did today."

Sentinels will have to put the tough loss to NRG behind them because an arguably tougher opponent looms on the horizon. Argentinian powerhouse Leviatán is considered one of the favorites to win VCT Americas, and if SEN can pull off an upset when the two teams meet on Sunday, April 16, at 12:00pm PT, it would be a ringing endorsement of SEN's new roster being a viable contender for the title.