"It feels good to prove people wrong": valyn on The Guard's victory over Sentinels at VCT 2022 NA Challengers
As the VCT 2022 Stage 1 NA Challengers wound up, The Guard made their way to the top of the North American Valorant table. On their difficult journey, they came across some of the most popular names in the industry, plowing past all of them to claim the mantle of NA's top representative at Masters: Reykjavik.
To kick-start the VCT NA Challengers playoffs, The Guard faced off against Sentinels in a best-of-three format to progress to the tournament's upper bracket. The intense matchup witnessed The Guard claim a promising victory over Sentinels on Bind (13-6), followed by an overwhelming 13-1 victory on Icebox.
The victory over Sentinels ensured The Guard's continuation in the Upper Bracket, and was a contributing factor to the performance that earned them the Challengers title. Sentinels, on the other hand, were sent to face Version1, against whom they succumbed in the Lower Round fixture.
The Guard's IGL valyn comments on their victory against Sentinels in the VCT 2022 Stage 1 NA Challengers Quarter-finals
In conversation with Sportskeeda Esports' Adarsh J. Kumar, The Guard's in-game leader (IGL) Jacob "valyn" Batio discussed their victory against Sentinels in the VCT 2022 Stage 1 NA Challengers Quarter-finals.
Q: Sentinels are one of the biggest household names in North American Valorant. How would you describe The Guard's performance after claiming a dominating 2-0 victory over them?
valyn: Honestly, it feels good to come out with a win on Icebox. With the new updates, things have changed on the map; the meta has changed. We prepared hard and studied the game during the meta change and it feels good to come out on top.
Q: This was The Guard's first official encounter against Sentinels. How do you think they performed in this matchup?
valyn: I don't think Sentinels performed that well today versus us. I was expecting more, honestly. No disrespect, but I was just expecting more as a player.
We played lights out. Sayaplayer had a huge impact, trent had a huge impact, and we all played insane. I feel like they didn't have the best day today and I think that's the reason why we dominated.
Q: Since you are The Guard's first choice for a Controller, what are your thoughts on the Agent changes that came up with Patch 4.04?
valyn: I was a bit nervous at first because I had been playing Astra for a year straight without playing any of the other Controllers. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to Omen and Brimstone, but as a Controller player, I feel like I'm in a good spot and that we are adapting really well to the new meta.
Q: The Guard has been in spectacular form so far in the VCT 2022 Stage 1 NA Challengers. As a young team with minimal experience, what were your expectations for your first ever VCT event?
valyn: We had high expectations for ourselves at the start of the tournament since we were doing really well in practice. We were blowing people out in practice every day. We were expecting to come out with wins, maybe not to this extent, like winning 13-0 against 100 Thieves or going 4-1 in the Group Stage, falling only to Cloud9.
But we did expect to reach the playoffs and it feels good to prove people wrong. A lot of people in the community didn't feel like we deserved to be here, saying we got lucky or whatever it was. So it felt really good to come out with big wins in the Group Stage.