Sentinels VALORANT prodigy breaks out of his slump at the best time

Keep trashing him on Twitter at your own peril.

With the season on the line and a daunting but doable path to the VCT Americas 2023 playoffs ahead of Sentinels, the VALORANT team’s young sensation has shown up big in the past two matches after a rough midseason slump.

Zachary “zekken” Patrone has led the way for his team on the scoreboard in the past two matches, including his best overall series of the year in what was a must-have win for Sentinels against KRU on May 14. Zekken didn’t allow KRU’s first win of the year to come at Sentinels’ expense, notching a +14 K/D, a 283 ACS, and a server high 92 percent KAST percent (kill, assist, trade, survive). This followed a strong personal performance against EG in what was otherwise a dismal loss for Sentinels.

But it hasn’t been the complete star-making season for Zekken. The turnaround came after a brutal loss to the now unquestionably good Cloud9 team, in what was one of Zekken’s worst games of his young career: -13 K/D, -10 in opening duels, and a 143 ACS. The match was arguably worse than his LOCK//IN performance against Fnatic and came on the heels of some good but not great showing against NRG, LOUD, and Leviatán (with the exception of a superb Sova game versus LEV on Ascent).

The slump in the middle of the season can hardly be placed on his shoulders alone, though. Sentinels have had to navigate role changes and coaching changes amidst three different versions of the roster; no other team in all three VCT leagues has been changed drastically this much over the split. While TenZ was gone, zekken had to play more Jett too, a duelist he’s not as comfortable on.

Related: Sentinels coach Kaplan on the team’s comms, TenZ’s return, and more

Still, he’s been able to correct the course, something former coach Syyko said he worked on with zekken following the aforementioned Fnatic game in Brazil. On top of looking at what went wrong in that game specifically, Syyko said the team worked with zekken to be able to identify when a bad start to a game could get worse, and “course correct” to “a more successful individual performance.”

Zekken clearly has retained those lessons and been able to stay on course during all the Sentinels changes this year. Regardless of what happens with this season, the team has to be happy about their long-term prospects with a confident zekken on the roster.

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