Sentinels Become The Final Team At VCT America Playoffs

The Play-ins day of the VCT Americas Kickoff was totally action-packed. Sentinels, MIBR, and G2 fought for the final... Owen | 27. February 2024

The Play-ins day of the VCT Americas Kickoff was totally action-packed. Sentinels, MIBR, and G2 fought for the final spot in the Playoffs in a three-way bracket.

Sentinels 2-0 MIBR

The first match of the day featured Sentinels going against MIBR. Coming into this matchup, Sentinels were heavily favored, but MIBR seemed to be evolving each day. 

On the first map, Split, Sentinels played an extremely clean Defending side, winning the first eight rounds in a row and ending the half 10-2. The team’s youngster, zekken, excelled on Raze, going 14/6/6 in the first half. 

The Brazilians made the second half competitive, but Sentinels had already built up an insurmountable lead, denying the comeback at 13-7.

MIBR struck first on their map pick of Ascent, taking a 4-1 lead on their Attacking side. However, Sentinels proved their defense on Split was not a fluke and won 6 of the next seven rounds to end the half 7-5. 

Again, zekken popped off on the Attacking side and helped Sentinels sweep the map 13-6, taking the series. 

With this victory, Sentinels sat comfortably as they built up a huge round differential, which is a determining factor in deciding if they would advance to the Playoffs over MIBR and G2. 

G2 1-2 MIBR

After losing to Sentinels, MIBR faced G2 in a must-win Best of 3 series. However, due to the Play-ins format, they had to take a clean win against G2 to make up for the round differential deficit from facing Sentinels. 

G2 started off Sunset, their map choice, guns blazing. The North American squad was up 6-2 and had a comfortable lead. MIBR’s jzz had a super slow start to the map, only having one kill at the start of Round 9. However, he showed up at the right time, winning a 1v3 clutch and destroying G2’s momentum, allowing his team to win four straight to tie the half. 

MIBR continued to win the second pistol round and dominated on their Defensive side to win the map 13-9. Jzz went from zero to hero, ending the map with 22 kills, the highest on the server. 

The second map, Split, was one heck of a game. MIBR took an early 5-0 lead on their Attacking side but threw the advantage and only managed to win seven rounds by halftime. Both teams traded blows in the second half, and ultimately, overtime was required. After huge-impact rounds from leaf, Cloud9 could win 15-13 to force a third map. 

The South Americans took an early lead on Breeze after converting their pistol and bonus round victories to win the first three rounds. However, G2 wasn’t done yet, posting four straight. The half ended 6-6, as close as it gets. 

G2 stole the second pistol round and built up a 10-8 lead, three rounds away from winning. Then, MIBR built an iron wall on their defense, winning five straight rounds to win the map 13-10. However, this win meant nothing to MIBR, as the round differences did not allow them to qualify regardless of the result of Sentinels and G2’s match. 

Sentinels 1-2 G2

Though G2 lost the series against MIBR, they still had a chance to qualify. However, the odds were heavily against them. To eliminate Sentinels and MIBR, G2 would have to win this match 2-0. Losing one map would mean their chances at Playoffs were as good as done. 

On Sunset, G2 displayed a strong Defensive side, winning the pistol round and eventually building an 8-4 lead at the end of the half, with leaf going 17/8/2. However, G2 lost their footing on Attack and allowed Sentinels to get nine straight rounds, stealing the map 13-8. G2 could not manage a single round in the second half.

This win on Sunset meant Sentinels were guaranteed to qualify for the Playoffs, even if they ended up losing the series. With this in mind, the players knew the remainder of the series meant nothing. 

Still, the rest of the match had to be played out. G2 won the first half on Breeze 9-3 on their Attacking side. Sentinels won the second pistol round and claimed four straight rounds, but G2 could close the map 13-9. 

On the “Mickey Mouse” deciding map, Split, G2 could only win five rounds on their Attack but had an immaculate Defensive side, winning the second half 8-2 and the map 13-9. Still, this victory was for naught, as the series essentially ended on the first map already. 

Playoffs Bracket 

Only four teams remain at the VCT Americas Kickoff: Sentinels, NRG Esports, LOUD, and Evil Geniuses.

The four teams have been split into two Semi Final matches. Evil Geniuses will play against LOUD, while Sentinels will have a date with NRG on the other side of the bracket. The Playoffs will begin on the 3rd of March. 

The winner of each Semi Final match, in other words, the two finalists, will receive a direct invitation to VCT Masters Madrid. The overall winner will receive 3 Americas Circuit Points as a bonus. 

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