Written By AashirAhmed - 2022-08-04
As we grow closer to VCT 2022 - Champions Istanbul, the fight to earn a spot at the event has started to intensify especially with the start of Last Chance Qualifier events around the world. VCT 2022 - North America Last Chance Qualifier witnessed the perfect start to the fascinating event with a match between The Guard and Sentinels.
With Sentinels signing Michael "shroud" Grzesiek for the event, hopes for a potential comeback were reinstated in their fanbase. Unfortunately, the match did not play out as they had hopes and Shroud faced several Challenges in his return to competitive esports. Possessing a strong intent to qualify for Champions, Sentinels initiated proceedings on Breeze hoping to get an early advantage on their map pick. They were successful in securing two rounds early on and were moments away from building a formidable streak when The Guard’s defense pushed back with a round and stopped Sentinels in their tracks. Nonetheless, their morale was enough to propel them to a five-point lead at 7-2.
Just when Sentinels were under the impression that Guard had lost hopes for the half, they fortified their defenses and were able to reduce the deficit to a mere two points placing them in a better position for the subsequent half. Leading the efforts in these desperately needed rounds was none other than the team’s young prodigy Trent "trent" Cairns.
His efforts, however, were better appreciated during the following half when Sentinels’ defense was able to complement their offensive efforts and reach 11 points by round 19. The Guard retaliated with all their might to take back four of the upcoming five rounds to barely force Overtime. Sentinels were able to push one of their own further delaying their inevitable win which came off a flawless featuring a 3K from Michael "shroud" Grzesiek himself.
Both teams then moved to Ascent where Sentinels restrained themselves to their usual Defensive positions immediately upon leaving the gates and executed their plan flawlessly to enable an early four-round streak. The Guard knew better than to let themselves be vulnerable; therefore, they retaliated with an unparalleled aggression to tie the score at 6 apiece by halftime. Fortunately, the roster was able to secure early pistol rounds to start second half allowing them to build momentum early on and reach 12 points, while Sentinels still lingered at 7.
Nonetheless, the fighting spirit ignited in Sentinels enabling a brief 3 round streak before The Guard closed out Ascent forcing the decider. Icebox was selected as the map to decide the fate of these teams, and Sentinels were eager to seek revenge for their sub-par performance earlier on. After taking the first three rounds, their confidence had peaked. But they then faced unexpected ferocity from The Guard’s offense dealing with which cost them seven crucial rounds, which became especially detrimental in hindsight folllowing Sentinels loss.
When teams switched sides, Sentinels capitalized on the pistol round, and take the lead 9-8 by round 18. The Guard decided not to delay their early win at the event and embarked on a three round streak to reach game point. Despite having three more rounds to play out, The Guard couldn’t finish the game allowing Sentinels to force Overtime and renewing their hopes of winning one last time.
The Guard did not falter and returned Sentinels’ first map favour in mind-blowing fashion to close out the Series. Stay tuned at THESPIKE.GG for more LCQ coverage.
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