Sentinels spent the entire off-season ‘copying’ Paper Rex

The Sentinels’ Valorant team has established itself as a powerhouse, especially during the VCT off-season.

Presently, the team from the Americas League is boasting a three-game winning streak in the AfreecaTV Valorant League 2023. They began their spree by overcoming the VCT Pacific League champions, Paper Rex, winning 2-1 in their first game.

In their subsequent match, they triumphed over the formidable Korean team, DRX, clinching a 2-0 victory.

Maintaining their streak, SEN defeated VCT EMEA League champions, Team Liquid, with a score of 2-1, which propelled them to the grand final of AVL 2023.

Credit: Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

SEN’s players Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro and Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi divulged the team’s winning strategies in an exclusive interview with ONE Esports.

Zellsis and Sacy credit Sentinels’ achievements to their commitment to consistency and the inspiring impact of Paper Rex

Credit: AfreecaTV

Viewing AVL 2023 as a precursor event for the VCT 2024 season, Sacy elaborated on the team’s main objective since the start of the off-season.

“Our central objective is to achieve steady performance with our main squad,” he remarked.

Reflecting on SEN’s performance in VCT 2023, Zellsis conceded that the team faced challenges. He underscored the absence of a firm leader, leading to a shortage of team synergy.

“There was a lack of someone who could foster a certain vibe, who could help the players break out of their shell,” he added.

Credit: Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

Zellsis emphasized the need for a fraternity-like team dynamic rather than solely being a group of players just turning up for work.

As a substitute player, he recognized the team’s exceptional players who found Valorant easy to play. However, he felt that they could have achieved more if closer as a team.

Zellsis recounted that in his discussion with the team’s coach, Adam “kaplan” Kaplan, they both concurred that the team should be more relaxed with each other and foster a fraternity-like environment.

Credit: Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

“Even when we are down or losing, we continue to lift each other up,” he stated. “We are confident we can win every round.”

Referencing Paper Rex, he indicated that the team’s success stems from their constructive mindset towards one another.

“They have always been a top-tier team since the game’s inception,” Zellsis said. “This is due to their ability to have fun, motivate each other, and their aggressive utilization of in-game resources.”

“You just need to put faith in your teammates, believe in the potential of your team, and trust each other,” he added.

Zellsis and Sacy, along with their coach Kaplan, informed ONE Esports they were the first team in the Americas region to start practices and scrimmages at the beginning of the off-season.

Credit: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

This approach strengthened the team’s camaraderie and collaboration, which is evident at AVL 2023. Zellsis also revealed that they have been spending more time together outside the game.

From dining together to engaging in other recreational activities and late-night TV viewing sessions, these social activities have helped to foster close bonds among the players.

Now that they share deep relationships, Zellsis observed they can give candid feedback to each other during practice sessions.

“We are not interested in offending anyone,” he stated. “We simply aim to win as a team.”

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