This was the match that had the vast majority of the esport world interested.
It would showcase the Sentinels with the seemingly immaculate Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won against four Overwatch League DPS players that have been signed by FaZe Clan: Babybay, Corey, Zach, and Rawkus all stepping into the server together to answer whether or not Sinatraa is an outlier in the world of esports, judging by how well he was able to transfer from Overwatch League over to Valorant, or if Overwatch League is destined to become a breeding ground for up and coming DPS players.
After FaZe stumbled a few times yesterday in the group stage that saw them fighting through the bottom bracket against China Nguyen, many weren’t necessarily presuming the best would be seen from the Clan today in the quarter-finals of the FaZe Clan Ignition Series Invitational.
The first map was Bind, on FaZe Clan’s map pick where FaZe was attacking and Sentinels on defense. This was FaZe Clan’s map pick, stemming from the Sentinels struggling on Bind yesterday when they dropped a map; if FaZe was going to pull a massive upset, it needed to start on Bind.
The first six rounds saw FaZe Clan picking up four kills, total: ‘Marved’ with the lion’s share at three kills, and Corey with one. Regardless of where FaZe attempted to strike, Sentinels held a disciplined defense that consistently burned down incoming attacks. It was…difficult to watch the first half as Sentinels were simply unstoppable; the ninth round came down to a 1v1 with Dapr versus Corey, and Dapr took the headshot as Corey stepped from Uhaul in A short.
The first half of Bind ended with FaZe on the back foot, with Sentinels taking a full half (0-12). FaZe found themselves with their back against a wall as Sentinels were one point away from easily taking the map that they lost yesterday, yet they managed to pull five rounds in a row against Sentinels as they had, apparently, warmed up.
On the eighteenth round, ‘ZachaREEE’ fell first with a rez ult on deck, and Sentinels finally clinched their final point.
(5-13) in favor of Sentinels.
It’s worth understanding that Sentinels are widely considered to be one of the best teams in Valorant; a one-sided loss was generally expected from the casters and audience alike. Corey ended up top-fragging at the close of Bind for FaZe Clan with ten kills, versus ‘Dapr’ for Sentinels at 21 kills. It wasn’t the best look from FaZe, but there were multiple instances where FaZe players managed to baffle the defense and offense of the veteran Sentinels.
The next map was a concerning one, although it was slightly delayed due to power outage from ‘ZachaREEE’; FaZe received a thorough beating on Ascent yesterday while Sentinels is well-known for shutting down even hot opponents on the newest Valorant map. FaZe would need a massive clutch, and a strong reversal from yesterday, in order to stay in the competition.
It began with FaZe doing everything they needed to, with the third round being a flawless defense after claiming the first two with relative ease; Sentinels economy was backed into a corner as FaZe became ever-emboldened by their successful defenses that led to the players pushing into the quad and winning aim-duels with ease; it was a stark contrast to the loss FaZe was handed yesterday.
On the fifth round, Sentinels put up their first point with a double plant juke where the spike landed on A; ‘zombs’ met ‘ZachaREEE’ in a 1v1 on A post-plant and ‘zombs’ took the duel. With another round going to Sentinels after, FaZe was able to take the seventh round by burning down the time with utility and advantageous positions across both A and B sites, leaving Sentinels to bounce between the two sites as they seemingly couldn’t decide what they should hit.
The first half ended (8-4) in favor of FaZe after a surprisingly strong defense; if FaZe could put five more points on the board during an attack they go to map three.
Sentinels grabbed the pistol round, which near-guaranteed the fourteenth point going to them as well. This tumbled the economy into Sentinels favor for four rounds straight, leaving teams locked (8-8). This advantage continued to spiral onwards as Sentinels held a flawless defense on the back on ‘Sinatraa’ and his Odin.
FaZe drops into the lower bracket, and they handily lost the series against Sentinels; but they managed to compete far more than many thought that they would.
Sentinels were in a similar spot of FaZe not too long ago, with many memeing on the idea of Jay Won switching over and competing within Valorant; a theory that Jay has dumpstered with consistent high-level plays. Additional experience within the server could well result in FaZe Clan turning into a concerning contender within the professional Valorant scene. There could be merit within the idea of Overwatch League becoming the breeding ground for up and coming Valorant competitors.