Photo via Sentinels
Whether it is a copypasta about shroud or people spamming “WHERE IS SEN,” those watching the chat in any of the VCT streams are likely to see something about Sentinels, even if they aren’t playing. Instead of Boaster holding up a sign asking when TSM plays, he’ll be holding one up asking when Sentinels plays this year at VALORANT Champions 2022.
Sentinels had a rough go of VCT in 2022 after a dominant year in 2021. Last year, they were the team to beat. They won the first regional Masters tournament, then went on to win Masters Reykjavík and they came out on top in every single Challengers event that year. It wasn’t until Masters Berlin 2021 that they started to falter.
They got out of the group stage but lost to G2 Esports, which sent shockwaves through the VCT community. Many thought that they just tripped up and that they would regroup and recover, but they ended up with an early trip home after they lost to Team Envy, which is the roster now known as OpTic Gaming, and were sent home after just one match in the playoff bracket. Gambit Esports went on to win Masters Berlin 2021.
This year, Sentinels still haven’t recovered. They didn’t qualify for Masters Reykjavík 2022 or Masters Copenhagen. They had a lackluster run in both Challengers events that were the mode of transportation to Masters qualification.
Why aren’t Sentinels playing in VALORANT Champions 2022?
Sentinels were able to qualify to compete in the Last Chance Qualifier this year to try for the last spot in Champions, and they came into the competition with a new and very popular player: shroud.
Shroud may not be the only reason there is always a comment about why Sentinels are not playing in Champions, but he is one of the reasons Sentinels has retained a lot of its popularity. He was brought onto the roster just before the LCQ and fans thought it might be a bait or that he’d just be brought on as a content creator. But he turned out to actually be on the team’s active roster.
The legend returns, and he's here to win@shroud joins the Sentinels Valorant roster pic.twitter.com/VaIYTeR2nq
— Sentinels (@Sentinels) July 8, 2022
This caused a massive resurgence of support for the team as they fought through the LCQ. Sentinels just barely qualified for the event, taking up the last spot in the tournament from their points in Challengers events. They started against one of the toughest teams in NA and the defenders of the most recent Challengers, The Guard, during the first match of the LCQ. The match was a close one, but The Guard were able to claim victory and move on, sending Sentinels down to the lower bracket.
In the lower bracket, they beat Shopify Rebels easily and then lost to 100 Thieves, who went on to take the last spot for NA in Champions 2022. But after the loss to 100 Thieves, Sentinels’ 2022 season ended.
There’s still a great chance that players will see Sentinels in franchised leagues when they debut next year, especially since the addition of shroud added hundreds of thousands of fans to the Sentinels’ bandwagon. Plus, fans might see Sentinels at Champions anyway since the Sentinels Twitter account has been hinting at the fact that they could just show up, even if they didn’t qualify.