Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #5 TenZ Tyson Ngo Zellsis Jordan Montemurro zekken Zachary Patrone johnqt Mohamed Amine Ouarid Sacy Gustavo Rossi became the first team to qualify for the AfreecaTV Valorant League playoffs with a 2-0 win over DRX DRX Korea Rank #1 Flashback Cho Min-hyuk (조민혁) stax Kim Gu-taek (김구택) BuZz Yu Byung-chul (유병철) MaKo Kim Myeong-gwan (김명관) Foxy9 Jung Jae-sung (정재성) in the Group A winners match.

The teams met to kick off Thursday's matches, after both squads won in 2-1 fashion on Tuesday. Sentinels took down Jinggg and Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #1 mindfreak Aaron Leonhart f0rsakeN Jason Susanto d4v41 Khalish Rusyaidee something Ilya Petrov Monyet Cahya Nugraha in overtime on map three, while DRX struggled with FULL SENSE FULL SENSE Asia-Pacific Rank #4 JohnOlsen Chanawin Nakchain PTC Kititkawin Rattanasukol Leviathan Thanyathon Nakmee foxz Itthirit Ngamsaard Sushiboys Panyawat Subsiriroj and their new ex-Talon additions of Sushiboys and foxz , before ultimately taking the series.

“They're a really good team,” Zellsis said pre-match about DRX. “They've always been like a top-three team.”

Map one was Sentinels' pick of Bind, where the Americas squad held a 3-0 record since the map returned to the pool. DRX clashed on the map much more often, going 5-5 over the course of the past VCT season.

The map was a typical showing of Bind with a significant amount of stalling via Brimstone, Viper, and Raze utility. Keeping TenZ on the Yoru allowed Sentinels more flexibility, and he particularly utilized the agent well on the outskirts of the map.

Perhaps not the most exciting 1v5 ever, but a 1v5 nonetheless.

The first half saw Sentinels take a slight lead despite zekken 's 1-11 performance with six first deaths on the attacking side. Sentinels' lead ballooned out to 9-5 after taking the second half pistol and eco, before clinching a 1-0 series lead with a 13-8 victory.

The second game brought the teams to Split for DRX's map pick, their best map of the past year. Spurred on by TenZ, Zekken and a critical eco win on round five, Sentinels' defense seemed impenetrable at times for DRX. A fourth straight pistol round win from Sentinels vaulted them out to a 10-4 lead.

TenZ and zekken were cooking on Split early on.

DRX found defensive success of their own, getting themselves back into the game behind early picks and responsive rotations. BuZz got hot late to tie things up at 11-11, seemingly everywhere that Sentinels went on their attack. johnqt helped bring Sentinels to match point on a wild thrifty round, before DRX forced overtime behind the Operator from BuZz.

The teams traded attacking rounds to open overtime, before TenZ topped off his 32-kill performance with a 4K and 1v2 clutch to secure the victory for Sentinels.

Who had a TenZ 30 bomb on Omen on their bingo card?

BuZz and TenZ were the stars of the series, dropping 46 and 47 kills in the series respectively. The storyline of the series was the inability of DRX to convert pistol and anti-eco rounds, losing all four pistols and also allowing Sentinels five low-buy round wins.

Sentinels await the second team from Group B in the first round of the playoffs, which starts on Saturday. DRX will face off against the winner of Paper Rex and FULL SENSE in the Group A decider for a chance to qualify for playoffs.

“We did expect to make playoffs despite having some tough games, so we are feeling good,” said johnqt. “We can't underestimate anyone. We're going to focus on ourselves and keep going no matter who we play.”

Cover Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games.