TenZ: “If we can beat LOUD, we can beat anyone”

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Having beaten the Brazilian organization to win the VCT Americas Kickoff, Sentinels once again faced LOUD in a hugely important series. This time SEN needed to take down their Americas rivals to reach the Masters Madrid upper bracket final, and was ultimately able to close out a nail-biting 2-1 win in what was an extremely close series that saw two maps go to overtime.

SEN LOUD VCT Madrid R1

Colin Young-Wolff | Riot Games

Winning clutch rounds, team morale and high praise for LOUD all around

Talking to the media following the victory, coach Kaplan was quick to praise Zellsis for keeping the team’s morale up, particularly after they were edged out of map two in overtime to prevent them from claiming a 2-0.

“I actually think the team, especially Zellsis, did an incredible job picking the morale up back in the middle of Icebox, so that’s something that I’m really proud of the guys and we’ve been doing multiple times now. When we’re really down, the morale gets really low on a map. We pick it up in the late end of that map and we say: “Hey, win or lose, let’s pick back up.” And if we win, great. And if we pick back up so we can just go into map three and win, great.”

“I really appreciate the guys, especially Zellsis, for that one. It makes my life easy because I don’t have to try really hard to pick us up between maps.”

On their familiar opponents, former LOUD player Sacy was quick to praise his former team when asked if additional fine-tuning from Sentinels could’ve prevented the overtimes.

“I’ll be honest, it’s hard to say a unique thing that happened that [meant] we could pull it back, but to be fair, both teams, us and LOUD, we were both trying to adapt [to] each other every round. So even if it was 7-1 sometimes, it didn’t feel like 7-1 because it was so close rounds, almost every round was close on the series.”

“We played good, LOUD played good. It was like really balanced, the series. So it’s unfair to say “Oh, well, we could have done better so we could get an easy series for us” because it was never gonna be easy.”

Sentinels Valorant Madrid

Credit: Colin Young-Wolff | Riot Games

TenZ gives high praise and also comments on the Gen.G duel

Superstar duelist-turned-flex player TenZ also spoke positively of his team’s newfound rivals, adding that LOUD is a “really good team” with “strong shooters”.

“The match against LOUD would never be really easy. And just the fact that we were able to overcome that and take the win at the end of the day kind of gives us confidence going forward to the rest of the tournament because I think if we can beat LOUD, we can beat anyone. And so we know that and we see that for ourselves. So just moving forward, I think we’re confident.”

The Canadian was also asked about his current performance levels and how he thinks his form in his new role compared to his prior heights playing Duelists during SEN’s previous peaks.

“I think this version of me — definitely for teamwork and just creativity — is the best version of myself currently. I don’t think I’m capped at the spot here and I think I can keep getting better as a player. So I think everything is just a learning experience – playing the tournaments, winning stuff, I think is very important, but also taking some losses here and there.”

TenZ SEN Madrid Playoffs

Credit: Colin Young-Wolff | Riot Games

Looking ahead, Sentinels now face Pacific’s Gen.G for a spot in the Grand Final. Having had his play compared to upcoming opponent Karon, TenZ was more focused on his opposing team on the whole.

“Going forward against Gen.G, obviously we have a lot of confidence, but can’t underestimate them nonetheless because they are also a top team coming into this tournament. And I know a lot of people were kind of putting the comparisons with TenZ vs Karon, so I guess we’ll just see tomorrow what happens.”

Read next: Gen.G Munchkin: We’re not a team that was easy to assemble.

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