Sentinels rue map selection picks as Gen.G breeze past Americas champions

Sentinels rue map selection picks as Gen.G breeze past Americas champions
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Last updated 

23rd Mar 2024 11:30

Gen.G, the roaring tiger from Korea, have padded their way into the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters Madrid without as much as a catscratch in return. 

The roster, who look almost formidable having lost just one match in their opening eleven fixtures this year, have unseated Americas' darling team in Sentinels to book their place in the final.

But for Sentinels, who are finally rallying to live up to that Season 1 hype, their semi-final upper-bracket loss has deflated the rather copious camp, and the roster has looked back to rue the map selection picks which backed them into a corner.

Sentinels Coach rues map pick in Semi-Final loss to Gen.G

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Sentinels have been riding high on the back of their renewed Tyson "TenZ" Ngo, who has pivoted to an aggro-controller role, topping his league-wide role charts while the likes of Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro and new star boy Zachary "zekken" Patrone have been fragging away.

But Gen.G proved too big of a mountain to move, and Head Coach Adam "Kaplan" Kaplan put this down to "overconfidence" and the controversial map selection.

At first glance, the map vetos appeared to favour Sentinels, who were allowed to pick their favourite Split, while Gen.G also picked Lotus, which is quite a comfortable pick for the Americas team too. But the decisive Breeze pick was one that Sentinels opted for themselves, and it backfired massively.

"[We have] no regrets floating [Breeze]. They play a pretty weird style on the map, we watched it and felt like we could deal with it," he said in a post-match conference.

Kaplan claims that Sentinels identified Gen.G's Breeze as a weakness, finding holes in their playstyle, but a lack of preparation in the week travelling to Madrid had meant that they couldn't practice the map as much as they would have hoped, and were unprepared to capitalise on the flaws they thought were evident.

"We felt like it was exploitable. It was probably wishful thinking leaning so hard into that with so little time to plan the execution of that. There was no time for any scrims," Kaplan added.

"Probably overconfident from myself and the team to go for that, but it's a learning experience. I'm not going to say that I regret picking it, but if I could go back in time and do it differently, I might have."

Sentinels looking to go back to basics for Masters Madrid rebound

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Sentinels' Masters Madrid run isn't over though, and will continue with a lower-bracket run against Paper Rex, who convincingly took down LOUD to set up the chance of having an all-Pacific Grand Final.

But Sentinels IGL Mohamed "johnqt" Ouarid has called on the roster to get back to basics and begin playing their own game, rather than looking to capitalise on flaws that are also unfamiliar territory.

Continuing in the conference, johnqt told GGRecon, "We just need to show up. They might have a map pool advantage with the two bans, but we're just playing VALORANT. We've played those maps before. As long as we show up, we'll be fine."

Later he added, "Overall, I think the loss was on us. We had to win Split and Lotus, but we didn't show up on map one, and we will be pretty regretful about that."

"But there are lessons to learn and we're going to move on and take the loss and come back better."

Sentinel's full map pool will be put to the test against Paper Rex in the lower-bracket semi-final as best-of-five matches come into play.

However, it does seem to be a similar story for all sides in the competition with the Pacific team also noting in their respective post-match conference that there simply wasn't enough time to prepare for these tournaments and begin expanding composition knowledge and executions over multiple maps.

Jack is an Esports Journalist at GGRecon. Graduating from the University of Chester, with a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Jack is an avid esports enthusiast and specialises in Rocket League, Call of Duty, VALORANT, and trending gaming news.

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