Zekken and Sentinels already in VCT mid-season form with the ultimate disrespect on TSM

The team and their memes are back.

Heading into the VALORANT Champions Tour’s first year of franchising, few teams are as interesting as Sentinels. Following a disappointing end to last year’s VCT season in which the team slumped out of Berlin and failed to even qualify for Champions, Sentinels blew up their roster and signed an intriguing mix of players for 2023.

Keeping superstar Tenz in the squad, Sentinels added key members from both the 2022 XSET team that impressed at Champions, as well as 2022 world champions and former LOUD stars Sacy and pANcada. With a distinct mix of North American and South American talent, many wondered how Sentinels would fare going into what might be the most competitive era of pro VALORANT yet.

At Ludwig and Tarik’s Invitational today, it didn’t take zekken long to demonstrate just how ready Sentinels are for the new Americas league.


Needing only one more round win to take the opening map against TSM but with their team economy in shambles, zekken decided to get aggressive on Neon. He slid into two TSM members, NaturE and Hazed, who were making their way into the A site from Dish just as the pair of them were flashed.

With Sheriff in hand, zekken managed to dispatch the blinded NaturE after a few errant shots. But having used up the bullets in his gun’s magazine and with no time to reload as Hazed regained vision, zekken made the only play that seemed available to him: Run directly at Hazed with his knife out.

What happened next is the stuff that we usually think only happens in lower ELO games. With only eight health remaining, zekken sprinted forward and dispatched Hazed with the knife, avoiding multiple point-blank Phantom shots in the process. The kill effectively ended the map, as the rest of Sentinels collapsed on the remaining TSM players and took home Fracture by a score of 13-8. And the casters gave voice to what most viewers (and TSM fans, probably) were thinking at the moment.

“What the hell was that?” Ludwig asked after the round when zekken stopped by the casters’ couch. Zekken’s response was straightforward: “I had no bullets, and I forgot I had a pistol.”

While it might have been the only available play open to him, running straight at Hazed with a knife out still feels like a moment of ultimate disrespect from zekken. Hazed will certainly be hearing about those Phantom shots again.

The map win put Sentinels in prime position to reach the upper bracket final of the four-team invitational tournament. And Sentinels fans will surely be happy to see that the team’s play and memes are already in mid-season form ahead of the VCT LOCK//IN event that kicks off the 2023 season on Feb. 13.

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