In the inaugural match of the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2022 North America Last Chance Qualifiers, Michael "neT" Bernet, the professional player for The Guard, took down Sentinels along with his teammates, pushing them to the Lower Brackets.
The VCT 2022 NA LCQ kicked off with Sentinels facing The Guard. After an intense best-of-three match between the two NA teams, The Guard gained the victory, advancing to the Upper Bracket Semi-Finals.
They lost the first map, Breeze, 15-13, but won the following two maps — Ascent (13-10) and Icebox (15-13). Both squads gave each other a tough time.
The Guard's neT is a versatile player who is quite flexible with Agent picks. He has been a part of the team since its formation in November 2021.
They started strong in the VCT 2022 season after surprising many top NA sides with their dominating performances in the VCT 2022 NA Stage 1 Challengers. However, they couldn't get out of the Group Stage in the VCT 2022 NA Stage 2 Challengers, thus missing out on the VCT 2022 Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen.
They did gain some more VCT circuit points, and this is the only opportunity for the team to make it to the Valorant Champions 2022.
The Guard's neT talks about team's preparations for VCT 2022 NA LCQ and performance against Sentinels
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda Esports' Pratiti Dhang after the match against Sentinels, The Guard's neT spoke about the team's performance and preparation for the VCT 2022 NA Last Chance Qualifiers.
Q: How do you think the team has performed today against Sentinels?
neT: I thought our team played well. There are some key things that we messed up, but we got the win.
Q: What went wrong in Breeze to lose the first map against Sentinels?
neT: I would say we made some post-plant mistakes and had some advantageous situations that didn't go away, but we're just going to keep working on that for our next match.
Q: The last time The Guard faced Sentinels was in the VCT 2022 NA Stage 1 Challengers. This time they are back with a new roster in the NA LCQ. Was there any difference this time from the last one?
neT: No, we treated it like every other match, though, obviously, how the stakes are high because it determines who you are.
Q: Fans were excited to have Shroud back in esports. This being his professional debut match against you and your team, how was your experience playing against him?
neT: It was awesome. Shroud is a figure that you look up to. Obviously, we're esports players, we played games for most of our lives, and it feels great when you play against someone you look up to for your whole career.
It's hard to beat that feeling just because he is a great competitor who has proven it over time and kind of a figure in esports that people look up to because he has accomplished so much. So yes, it feels great.
Q: The team recently got a new Assistant Coach, qpert. How has he helped the team in practice sessions, and how has your experience been so far with him?
neT: It's been great. qpert is a great coach with a great mindset for the game and has only helped us. We're fortunate to have him, honestly.
He's been doing a lot, and it shows. Our coaching staff has been working super hard, and yes, it's great.
Q: How have the preparations been for the Last Chance Qualifiers tournament?
neT: We've been working hard because this is the year's most important event. For us, it's been pretty intense.
Q: Did you guys face any challenges during your preparations for the
VCT 2022 NA LCQ?
neT: I mean, obviously, you can see that we've been playing new comps, so it's been a challenge to adjust to these, and so we've been having to get used to new things.
Q: What is one of the significant aspects the team has worked on during these preparations?
neT: I don't know; honestly, I'd say keep trying to be different because a massive thing about what went wrong last time is we didn't conform to the meta and were kind of stuck in our old ways. Sticking together as a unit and trusting each other was a huge thing we've worked on and improved at.
Q: The Guard started the year strong with a dominating performance in Stage 1. However, Stage 2 didn't go well as the squad couldn't make it out of the Group Stage. How confident is the team in winning the VCT 2022 NA LCQ and making it to the Valorant Champions this time?
neT: We're super confident. We think as long as you play a game, as long as we play together, we're going to win and go to the Valorant Champions.
Q: What are the primary goals that you and the team have set this time?
neT: To eventually go to the Valorant Champions and win it.