Sentinels vs. G2 at Valorant Masters Berlin – A Clash of Titans
After Sentinels’ undefeated run at Reykjavík this year, there were many that called the North American squad the best team in the world in Valorant. However, European organization G2 felt they had what it took to take down the American giants, leading to some hilarity on social media.
With day 3 of Berlin now behind us, we see Sentinels rightfully should be considered one of the top teams in the world, but G2’s match against Sentinels at Valorant Masters Berlin is significant for the fact that G2 made Sentinels bleed, and forced Sentinels to completely alter their playstyle to secure a win. While the loss may taste sour in the mouth of G2’s fans, the fact that they were able to create a shift in Sentinels’ gameplay bodes well for any future match-ups between these teams. The rivalry between these two teams is certainly far from over, as G2 is sure to learn from this loss and prepare against Sentinels the next time they meet.
The match between G2 and Sentinels was electrifying. Here are some of the highlights of both maps.
Split – Game 1 of Sentinels vs. G2 At Valorant Masters Berlin
Sentinels’ ability to punch a hole in G2’s defense through aggressive pushes through mid dictated the pace of the game in Sentinels’ favor. Moments like Reyna grabbing picks on top of Sage’s wall coming out of Garage showed that the variety of approaches from Sentinels made use of creative entry options would secure them surprise picks they could snowball off of. Much of the game was built off of Sentinels’ aggressive plays on T side as G2 would typically get stonewalled out of site retake attempts by Sentinels.
Here are some highlights from the most exciting rounds of Split in the first game between Sentinels and G2 at Valorant Masters Berlin.
Split Round 7: On a Sheriff buy, both TenZ and SicK win their duels to open up B site and enable Dapr a solid position to take angles on remaining G2 players, giving Dapr a solid three kill round. G2 would lose an Operator this round that allowed ShahZaM to confirm two kills the following round.
Split Round 8: On a slow push onto A site, ShahZaM would confirm two kills with the stolen operator on A Ramp, neutralizing nukkye and keloqz. Along with TenZ’s kill at A screens, these Operator kills would completely open up A site for Sentinels and put G2 on the backfoot. While AvovA is able to eliminate two of Sentinels’ players, he fails to take the Operator out of ShahZaM’s hands as the spike detonates for Sentinel’s round win.
Split Round 13: As G2 transitions to attacking, the pistol round goes in Sentinels’ favor as Zombs secures two kills on A site before transitioning to A Elbow. These two kills would break up G2’s A approach, forcing the round into a tense 1v1 between ShahZaM and keloqz with the duel going into ShahZaM’s favor.
Split Round 17: ShahZaM’s ace during the round was possibly the biggest pop-off we see in this match. ShahZaM takes advantage of a funnel created by Sage’s wall at the top of mid, eliminating AvovA, m1xwell, and keloqs. ShahZaM sees koldamenta’s weapon poke out around the corner and shoots at the weapon model to score his 4K. ShahZaM gets the flick onto nukkye’s head near the top of Mid Ramp for the Ace.
This round showed how anxious G2 got when they tried to replicate Sentinels’ early pushes through Mid that they secured earlier rounds with. However, Sentinels saw the play coming out of their own playbook and effectively threw the Mid push attempt into disarray with a fantastic Sage wall and smoke coverage that provided ShahZaM with a small but exploitable peek window that netted him a quick 3K on G2.
Icebox – Game 2 of Sentinels vs. G2 At Valorant Masters Berlin
Nukkye really showed up this game with crucial opening picks on his approach to A. G2 would take advantage of these picks to either set themselves up on B and deny Sentinels approach options with Sage wall and Poison Orb, or they’d go for patient, long approaches onto A site ensuring that they could either net quick entry frags and reposition, or slowly whittle down G2’s A site defense.
Icebox’s rounds would show how G2 could balance explosive, reactive play with slow approaches from multiple angles onto either site, punishing Sentinels for attempting bold entry frags and denying them momentum.
Icebox Round 12: G2 force buy for the last round. Nukkye blastpacks into A Pipes for a kill on ShahZaM before getting punished by a reactive kill from TenZ. Keloqs sluices into the site to challenge Tenz and confirms a kill on him. SicK eliminates m1xwell as AvovA revenge kills SicK’s Sage to even things out. The round turns into a 3v2 as Zoms drops down from Rafters onto Site to frag keloqs who’s watching A-connector from underneath Rafters. Zoms gets the 90 degree flick to finish off AvovA.
Meanwhile, koldamenta kills dapr from behind Pipes to turn the fight for the site into a 1v1. Time is ticking from AvovA’s spike plant earlier. Zoms hops onto the zip line moving towards koldamenta who is able to secure a kill from beneath.
This round really exemplifies nukkye’s competence as an entry fragger and how his kills conduct the rest of the round for his team. If G2 can secure a first kill with nukkye, they’re quick to execute follow-up kills based on the information these reactive plays can confer.
Icebox Round 17: The rounds are tied between G2 and Sentinels at this point, and both teams are nearly even in terms of their round buys. A beautiful operator shot from keloqs opens up the round, forcing SicK to revive a fallen zombs only for Koldamenta to eliminate zoms again. AvovA follows up with a frag from the top of B Site. TenZ swings onto site past the double stack boxes along with SicK, peering down the long sightline towards Orange.
SicK frags m1xwell down the long sightline as dapr confirms a kill onto AvovA. koldamenta kills SicK after he ziplines to the top of site inside the shipping container. TenZ picks up a kill on koldamenta as he pushes the sightline at Orange. Nukkye, however, has been flanking from behind this whole time, and Sentinels have neglected to keep track of him as he swings out from behind Yellow to frag dapr near Danger. Nukkye then sprayed TenZ at the bottom of the shipping containers to close out the round and swing the 8-8 tie in G2’s favor.
The tenseness of this round was palpable, and G2 needed to find a breakaway that would at least allow them to deny Sentinels the round win and their weapons. Nukkye’s careful flank behind Sentinels provided his team with the necessary break they would need to secure a lead. The lead they built off Attackers’ side would convert into momentum on defense as nukkye would continue securing key kills that would create a roadblock on Sentinels’ approaches, winning them the game.
Haven – Game 3 of Sentinels vs. G2 At Valorant Masters Berlin
Haven is perhaps Sentinels’ best map, and their smart rotations and positioning showed how comfortable they felt playing on Haven. Sentinels went from matching G2’s explosive and reactive play throughout the match to calm and patient execution as they allowed the pressure to mount on G2. G2’s movements were thwarted every time they attempted to approach A as Sentinels would make great use of their utility to funnel them into disadvantageous sightlines. While flashy play from TenZ is what fans show up for, it’s the leadership and shot-calling of ShahZaM that secured the victory in this final game against G2.
This game should definitely be studied by fans of Sentinels and any would-be Valorant coaches looking to gain insight on how to best set up advantageous lines of sight and how to respond to kills on either side. The rotations from Sentinels on this map are flawless as they predict G2’s movements to the anguish of G2 fans.
Haven Round 7: Sentinels spark anxiety in G2 after TenZ’s no-scope on m1xwell, forcing G2 to commit to either a B or C push. G2 attempts to push onto C from Garage, but get countered by SicK’s pick-offs from C long and zombs frags on the back of the site. No matter how much G2 commits to a push, Sentinels rotations thwart any attempts to establish a position to mount a spike plant.
This round really shows how TenZ doesn’t need to rely on flashy plays to destabilize an opponent. He gets a kill in the middle of smoke through a noscope Operator shot that was informed by him bumping into m1xwell in the middle of the smoke. TenZ’s solid gameplay sense creates a window for his team to collapse on the rest of G2.
Haven Round 9: After 8 rounds of Sentinel dominance, G2 manages to take C site through a strong push onto C, utilizing a dual prong offense that lets keloqs sit on-site under smoke while his teammates push through Garage to provide cover towards Platform. Nukkye kills Dapr at Ninja as he pushes from connector onto the site. Smokes come down effectively closing off Sentinels’ visibility towards the front side of boxes and C site, allowing G2 to take positions looking towards Defenders’ Spawn and behind Platform.
SicK pushes through smoke to get surprised by both AvovA and nukkye and trades his life for AvovA’s. Keloqs dies to ShahZaM’s Hunter’s Fury but gets raised by nukkye as G2 continue to deny visibility to Sentinels. Sentinels funnel in from Defenders’ Spawn to get picked off by G2 who manage stable footing on the front of site that allow them to cover multiple angles.
Any rounds that go in G2’s favor come about because they avoid pushing onto TenZ’s Operator, denying him the chance to secure the first kill for his team and put G2 on the backfoot. G2 are capable of pushing onto site should they avoid TenZ, but this typically means that only B and C Sites are viable options for them. However, this revelation comes too late as the first half ends with Sentinels leading 11-1.
Haven Round 15: TenZ. All I have to say. TenZ was able to cover multiple angles of approach and completely dismantled G2’s attempt to retake A site. The guy really is that good.
G2 would continue mounting an offensive under the dire circumstances of Sentinels being one round away from winning the game. They played admirably until the 21st round as they fell to SicK’s flank from Garage to open up B Site. Sentinels push onto C Site knowing rotations won’t come from B turning the round into a 5v1 as keloqz falls at C link to a fully entrenched Sentinels.
Lessons Learned From Sentinels vs. G2 At Valorant Masters Berlin
Watching these teams play, it’s obvious that there are some talented players who are able to execute based on individual skill alone. Where the match really astonishes viewers is game 3 on Haven, where ShahZaM uses TenZ as an individual buffer to prevent pushes through A main after a long series of G2 losses pushing A Site as five. The mind games that Sentinels employ during this last game should be observed and appreciated as an example of the elevation of Valorant play at the highest level. Not only is pro Valorant a showcase of individual skill, but it’s also a venue for seeing exciting team play and solid execution of strategy for any tactical FPS title. Masters Berlin benefits from having G2 and Sentinels compete against each other, and the fans are sure to keep this rivalry going into Champions. There have been a lot of games at Masters Berlin that felt like complete shut-outs with teams completely disabling their opponents for easy wins. However, this match between G2 and Sentinels will be the highlight of the tournament not just because of the fervor created online, but because of the beauty of play that it presented to Valorant fans.