Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #1 TenZ Tyson Ngo Zellsis Jordan Montemurro zekken Zachary Patrone johnqt Mohamed Amine Ouarid Sacy Gustavo Rossi have beaten Team Heretics Team Heretics Europe Rank #35 MiniBoo Dominykas Lukaševičius Wo0t Mert Alkan RieNs Enes Ecirli benjyfishy Benjy David Fish Boo Ričardas Lukaševičius 2-1 in their debut match at VCT 2024 Masters Madrid. With this win, Sentinels are only one win off making the playoff stage of the event. Team Heretics have to win both their next two games to qualify to the playoff stage, as one loss will eliminate them from Masters Madrid.

This was the duel between two popular organizations, from the Americas fan-favorite that is Sentinels to the local Spanish org Team Heretics. Both teams didn't see any global play in 2023, improving to make it to Madrid in 2024, and faced each other on Lotus first to see which one was better.

The map picks started with Lotus from Sentinels and Sunset from Team Heretics, leaving Bind as the decider. Despite their 5-2 map record on Split, Sentinels chose Lotus instead and wasn't able to get Split as the deciding map.

Team Heretics started on the attack side, running agents they had won plenty of games in EMEA on, with MiniBoo most notably back on his signature Neon. However, TenZ was the one to step up on his Omen, getting an ace in the opening pistol round.

That moment could've set the tone for Sentinels' defense, but Heretics won their eco round afterward. The early rounds were chaotic, with the two teams one-upping each other with clever plays. The best example was round five, where MiniBoo charged into A site through Tree to flank into Rubble. Every time Sentinels tried to build their economy through ultimates or weapons, Heretics cleared them out.

Heretics built their lead, ending the half up 8-4 off of a triple kill from paTiTek in his Vipers Pit – a good start for an attack sided map, let alone Sentinels' map pick. When the sides flipped, Sentinels won their second pistol, this time converting on their anti-eco and bonus to keep the game within reach. After tying the map 8-8, Sentinels maintained their momentum, spreading Heretics wide across the map and constantly pushing the weak sites.

Heretics won their first defense round down 10-9, and had what looked like a clutch thrifty to change the flow of the game, until Zellsis won a 1v2 when paTiTek and RieNs lined up.

That effectively ended the map 13-9, a crushing attack from Sentinels proving too much for Team Heretics to handle. While MiniBoo led the map with 25 kills, zekken had seven first kills. Five of those seven opening kills were on attack, which contributed to the near-flawless attack half.

The next map in the series was Sunset, another map that both teams were successful on regionally. Heretics began their defense strong, winning pistol and converting their bonus. Sentinels seemed set planting on B site, but the retakes from Heretics were clean. MiniBoo kept rolling, securing a close round with a 3K to go up 4-0.

It took until round seven for Sentinels to win their first attack round on Sunset. A thrifty from Sentinels afterward shifted the economy for Heretics, and they took advantage to get to the half down 8-4.

Team Heretics got their second pistol win, immediately starting the second half off better than Lotus. Despite no bonus conversion, they took their lead and never looked back. Their executes of both sites were near perfect, as Boo and MiniBoo created free kills with their Omen blind and Neon stun combos. Combined with plenty of fakes towards mid that kept Sentinels on their toes, Heretics secured a 13-5 map win.

The series came down to Bind, with Heretics running Yoru and Astra while Sentinels ran Skye and Gekko. Heretics won the first pistol, and converted off of some minor mistakes from Sentinels to take an early lead. Sentinels were taking too long to plant the spike, as Heretics would use utility and smart positioning to shut down any pressure the Americas team threw their way.

Sentinels had to take a timeout down 1-6 on their attack side, changing the pace to claw back into the map. Some key fast round wins, a clutch from Zellsis , then a clean post-plant on B site led to a 6-6 half.

A pistol win from Sentinels put them in their first lead of the map, and rounds were going back and forth as Sentinels kept their lead. Then, the Astra and Yoru combined their ultimates to strike, teleporting to a corner without the enemy hearing it.

It came down to the wire, tied at 11-11. A teamkill Raze ultimate from zekken seemed to throw away a crucial round, but it was saved by Zellsis. Sentinels clutched the map 13-11, and the series 2-1.

After the win, TenZ was highlighted as a player making his long awaited return to the global stage. He went with the Gekko instead of the Yoru on Bind, and it proved to make their Bind better in comparison to their regional play.

kaplan asked me if I was ready to learn Gekko,” TenZ said on stage post-match, “and I said I'm down.”

After the game, the draft was done for the rest of the swiss stage, leaving Sentinels facing another EMEA squad in Karmine Corp Karmine Corp Europe Rank #8 MAGNUM Martin Penkov tomaszy Tomás Machado N4RRATE Marshall Massey marteen Martin Pátek sh1n Ryad Ensaad . TenZ didn't know what team he would face when he was interviewed, but he knew that there wasn't an easy path to the playoffs after his teams' victory.

“All the teams put in a lot of hard work,” TenZ said. “It's going to be tough match no matter who we face [next].”

Latter swiss stage matches drawn for Masters Madrid

Post-match, the event drew the next matches for the swiss stage. The matches are:

The winners of the top two matches will automatically qualify to playoffs. The winners of the bottom two matches will face the losers of the top two matches for the final two slots in the VCT 2024 Masters Madrid playoffs.