Sentinels signed the ex-FaZe pro, Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty, as the new coach of the team. The reason this is big news is because Sentinels had no coaches prior to this. And yet, they still dominated the NA region and the majority of the VCT LAN events without any issues.
With all their firepower and confidence, Sentinels stumbled for the first time during the final VCT Masters event in Berlin. They got countered and all their strategies fell flat. Sentinels had already qualified for the Valorant Champions prior to Masters, so it didn’t impact them at all in that sense. However, it finally forced them to rethink their situation and hire a coach.
What Will Rawkus Bring to the Team
Rawkus joining Sentinels could potentially be a game-changer for this squad. As we’ve already known, ShahZaM was the brain of the entire operation of Sentinels. On top of being a very flexible in-game leader, a lot of the pre-match planning and decision making also fell on him. Of course, the rest of the squad were there as well to ease the burden, but at the end of the day, the majority of the pressure was on him.
Rawkus will help alleviate some of that burden by taking a portion of the responsibility. Additionally, Rawkus brings a fresh new perspective into the team. Being an ex-FaZe player, Rawkus is intimately familiar with the usual tactics of FaZe and other teams they played against. This could prove vital in the upcoming Valorant Champions in December.
Rawkus shared the news on Twitter by saying “if ya can’t beat em join em, time to win champs”. The fans were surprised but equally overjoyed by his decision. His time with FaZe came to an end, but a new chapter with Sentinels is just beginning.
Sentinels Will Come Prepared This Time
There could be many reasons why Sentinels messed up during their Masters run in Berlin. They had won all their previous tournaments and everyone expected them to take this one as well. So what happened?
First of all, the biggest factor could be the fact they had already qualified for Valorant Champions before even attending the final Masters event. They were the only team with a secured spot in the final Valorant Champions Tour event, so that could’ve impacted their motivation. Whether they finished first or last, didn’t matter much.
The other reason could be that Sentinels didn’t want to reveal all their tricks during Masters, since they didn’t have any stake in this event. Although this is a valid theory, it is highly unlikely. At least, they wouldn’t have allowed G2 to stomp them in the rematch in group D. Our best guess is that they simply let their guard down and underestimated their opponents.
Regardless, they’ve learned a valuable lesson. As a result of their failure, they’ve grown and even hired a coach. They were scary before, but now they’ll be even scarier. If they change their tactics and adopt a different approach by the time Valorant Champions arrives, we might see another stomp similar to Valorant Champions Tour – Stage 2 Reykjavík.
Why Did Rawkus Leave FaZe
Well, this one is easy and pretty obvious. FaZe failed to qualify for the Valorant Champions, and not only that, but their performance in the VCT: NA LCQ was rather poor. Also, BabyJ left the team a week ago, which might have caused further tensions within the team.
But more importantly, Rawkus was presented with a choice that he couldn’t refuse. When an organisation like Sentinels asks you to coach their team – you accept. It could be an opportunity of a lifetime, so Rawkus took it.
Although he won’t be actively playing in the main lineup, he’s still a vital part of the team. If he wins Valorant Champions with Sentinels, it will be a huge accomplishment and a boost to his career in Valorant esports.
FaZe, on the other hand, is left in shambles with only 3 core members remaining. Hopefully they’ll be able to pick themselves up and rebuild in time for the VCT 2022 season.