Zellsis opens up about C9 roster build and Sentinels gamble

Zellsis opens up about C9 roster build and Sentinels gamble
Image via ESL

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

12th Oct 2023 17:00

While co-streaming Cloud9's face-off against DRX at the TEN VALORANT Global Invitational, an off-season tournament, Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro delved deep into his recent career choices and why he chose to part ways with his former team. 

Despite seemingly having been given the reigns, he chose to go with regional rivals Sentinels. Now, the professional player has opened up about the process of forming the C9 VALORANT roster and his subsequent move to Sentinels.

Keys to the c9r

Entrusted with the task of creating a VALORANT team by C9's owner, Jack Etienne, Zellsis was also handed the role of In-Game Leader (IGL). 

He swiftly brought on the players Maxim "wippie" Shepelev, Erick "Xeppaa" Bach, Francis "OXY" Hoang, and Jake "jakee" Anderson, with Ian "Immi" Harding appointed as the coach. 

The chosen squad - having shared history from their time in teams like Version1, G2, and Cloud9 - promised easy chemistry through their shared friendship.

Zellsis also revealed his preference for Immi over former head coach Matthew "mCe" Elmore, who had been with the team since October of last year before parting with the squad in mid-September, 2023.

Staying on the topic of former pieces of the old C9 roster, Zellsis shared that it was Nathan "leaf" Orfecision's own decision to exit the team and not a decision he made. 

Throughout the formation phase, Zellsis shared that Jack Etienne extended unwavering support, granting him adequate time to embrace the IGL role.

High risk, high reward

While C9's offer was tempting, Sentinels presented an even more alluring proposal: a less demanding role as a 6th man and a chance to embark on a streaming career. Zellsis acknowledged the appeal of the Sentinels brand in potentially helping him kickstart his streaming career.

However, the decision wasn't straightforward. Zellsis candidly spoke about the inherent risk of such a move. Taking a backseat, even for just six months in the professional scene, could jeopardize his career.

It's especially true with emerging talents relentlessly refining their skills in real-time competitions in tier 1 and 2, leaving even seasoned veterans behind if they slept on their laurels.

Eventually, the pull of Sentinels was too potent to resist. But before his exit, Zellsis endorsed Anthony "vanity" Malaspina as his potential replacement, praising his capability to foster trust and boost players' confidence. 

So far, the new C9 team has had a solid showing, only losing a best-of-one to South Korean organisation T1 during the Group Stage of the TEN Global Invitational, later winning the offseason event over DRX in the final.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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