The Sentinels versus Fnatic opening round matchup at the VCT LOCK//IN event was not a pleasant experience for fans or players, and not just because of the lag and technical issues in the stream. Gameplay wise, Sentinels was not able to control Fnatic’s dynamic duelist main Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, proving to be one of the best players in the world, currently.
Fnatic continued to pick their favorite map, Haven, similar to previous tournaments. In the first game Sentinels’ player TenZ showed glimmers of potentially coming back into old form, while Derke proved once more his Jett is something to fear at any level of the competition. Sentinels looked rather unorganized on their attacking setup, thanks to this Derke was able to find isolated Jett picks ultimately creating space for Fnatic to push into. Derke was not the only one punishing miss positioning from Sentinels, Leo and Chronicle combined for 7 total successful opening kills, taking the map 13-6.
Going into map 2, Split, Sentinels took advantage of the free time between matches to fix their attacking side, with TenZ (normally a duelist main) picking the unexpected sentinel role after choosing Sage. After a couple of stable rounds from Sentinels, Fnatic took 3 consecutive rounds to close out their defensive half and went on to have one of the best attacking sides we have seen throughout the tournament, only losing 1 round in the 2nd half.
Derke was certainly the star of the series, with a massive total of 43 kills versus 23 deaths on the 2 maps played, managing to achieve a 302 series ACS. However it is important to note that Fnatic won the game as a team, with all members assisting Derke or taking advantage of his pressure rapidly. Looking at the other side of the equation, Sentinels was not able to stop the bleeding this time around. The former XSET duo of Zekken and dephh finished with a combined 0.5 kill to death ratio, showing little to no impact in the series. On the analysts desk, Liquid’s RedgaR mentioned that Sentinels struggled mainly with executes and finding openings or trades in Fnatic’s defense. Most of these scenarios seem to be lack of standardized plays or simply lack of synergy when it comes to pushing into a site.
With Sentinels’ early exit from the tournament, only a single North American organization remains in contention for the coveted VCT LOCK//IN trophy, with 100 Thieves taking on FUT Esports after an incredibly exciting game and narrow win versus EDward Gaming earlier in the week. As for Fnatic, they will move on to battle against the winner between FURIA and T1.
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