SEN Marved: “I believe I'm a way better IGL now than I was before”

Pedro Romero
category_image Valorant
    Reading time  ~9  mins

    Sentinels kicked off their 2023 VCT Americas Last Chance Qualifier run on the right foot, taking down 100 Thieves in the second round of the competition. By defeating their North American counterparts, besides the result sending the team to the next round and setting up an encounter with Cloud9, Sentinels received another lifeline as they reached the double-elimination phase of the bracket.

    Despite seeing various changes to their coaching staff and lineup, Sentinels look to continue their march towards Champions 2023 against all the odds and return to the event for the first time in two years.

    Following Sentinels’ victory over 100T, BLIX talked to their in-game leader Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen for an interview about how the team defeated their adversary and how he prepared in the leadup to the LCQ under the new role, as well as how this year compared to past seasons with his former teams and much more.

    Taking down 100 Thieves

    Pedro Romero, BLIX: Given there was plenty of anticipation for this series in the LCQ, how did you view it play out from your perspective, considering it went the distance and featured a 100 Thieves comeback in Map 1 and the like?

    Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen: Yeah, I was expecting to win this match just because of how good we looked in scrims and in practice, so I was very confident going in. In Pearl, I feel like we let it slip away from us, especially Cryocells was hitting some good shots, and our execution was not up to par. I guess we were shaking off the rust, but yeah, they made a comeback, which is awesome, but I was still confident after the first map that we would win the series. I felt like the maps went our way. There's no way they could have known that and we closed it out in three maps.

    BLIX: For anyone who receives a 9-3 comeback on the opposite end, it could potentially affect their mentality for the next set of maps. So, what was that transition like for you and the rest of the team when it came to going from Pearl to Split?

    Marved: I think it's just the vibes were good. The team was not down at all. I think it's because we're so well-oiled on every map that we're not scared to take it to distance, especially if we lose the first map. Even though we should have won, we felt like we were better even though we lost. It's just that we're very confident on every other map, so there's not really much pressure.

    BLIX: And it definitely showed in Split and Bind, where you guys took down 100T 13-7 in both maps. Talking about Bind, it featured Yoru appearing in both teams' compositions which made for an interesting matchup. How did that Yoru composition come together for this team on this map? Also, what do you think of the agent's place within this current meta in your perspective?

    Marved: I think you can make any agent work if you tried, but yeah, I was pretty surprised when I saw their Yoru because I feel we were the only ones playing Yoru, but I guess not. I think the agent is good on whatever map, but you just have to implement it. We've been running it for a little bit now, and we really liked it, so it worked out. Tyson's really good on Yoru, and we were able to come out on top.

    Preparing for the LCQ

    BLIX: This team is one of the most intriguing sides of this LCQ given they had plenty of changes both in the coaching level and within the lineup throughout the season. For you, as the IGL, what was the biggest thing that you focused on when it came to making sure you guys were well prepared for this event?

    Marved: We started practice pretty early after not making playoffs, so we had a lot of reps, which is what we needed. I needed more reps calling, seeing reactions, and fixing things in general. And as far as the team goes, we were just learning how to play with each other, learning my calling style, and just practicing the fundamentals. We were getting our map pool really good, which was important because having a good map pool was important. Yeah, we just practiced early and it worked out.

    BLIX: It's been a long time since you were put into that IGL role. Your past teammate Babybay mentioned during the broadcast that you were the IGL for FaZe Clan back in 2020. Was there a major adjustment within that role for you that you focused on, particularly within the break?

    Marved: It's learning how to use my players that I have and just learning not to overcook sometimes and not overcomplicate things. It's just getting more reps, to be honest, and learning what it takes to win rounds. I believe I'm a way better IGL now than I was before. I was just basically getting used to it and learning how to keep it simple and letting my teammates do their job as well.

    BLIX: How did you view the team adjusting with a different IGL given that it started off with dephhh and then you were put into that role? What do you think about the differences between the team adjusting to him and you within that role?

    Marved: I think I tried to call around the strengths of players. I feel they all like me a lot in the way I call, so we just have to find a balance between us. The adjustments, I'm sure, are smooth. With just a bunch of reps, IGLing isn't that complicated, in my opinion. The players have pressure on them as well to make their own calls as well whenever they can and relay me information. Just throughout practice, it's just learning reactions, and it's kind of second nature at that point. Sometimes they know the reactions even before I say it, so yeah, it's just we've all gotten better as players.

    Looking back and looking forward

    BLIX: It also bears mentioning the fact that you were coming off of a pretty successful time with Envy and OpTic, and joined Sentinels, who underwent plenty of struggles within the regular season of the Americas. For you, how much of a challenge has this year been with Sentinels compared to your past teams in Envy, OpTic, FaZe and the like?

    Marved: I feel like just taking things one step at a time. I don't really think about the past too much. I'm just basically starting from scratch. I've been there before. When I first joined Envy, we had to build from scratch and just focus on starting over and learning the maps altogether. You know, getting good on every map, getting used to the players, and just starting from scratch and not thinking too hard about the past.

    BLIX: With you guys taking down 100T, you earned an extra life by progressing into the semifinals of the upper bracket and taking on the rest of the remaining teams that are vying for contention into Champions. What do you think is going to be the difference maker for this team in order to take the next level and qualify for Champions from the LCQ?

    Marved: I feel we just keep doing what we're doing, prepare the same, and shake the rust off. Keep it tight, and don't overheat. I'm just focusing on doing what we did in practice, which should take us to the top.

    BLIX: Your next opponent is going to be Cloud9, a familiar foe that Sentinels faced earlier in the year. What do you think about the team given their progression from the end of the regular season and playoffs up until the LCQ? What do you think about that team?

    Marved: They're good, like every other team that's in LCQ. I don't care who their players are or what they've done. This is a new tournament, starting from scratch, and I feel we got to be able to be every single team if we want to win anyways, so I'm not really scared. We're just gonna play and do what we do.

    Sentinels huddling together before commencing their LCQ journey (Image Credits: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games) Sentinels huddling together before commencing their LCQ journey (Image Credits: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

    BLIX: By how you mentioned it, it's mostly going to be a battle within yourself in order to perform well in this competition, right?

    Marved: Yep. It's gonna be a battle between ourselves. I'm not really looking at our opponents that much. We're just doing our prep work like we always do and just focus on ourselves. I feel like we have five great players so it should work out.

    BLIX: Final question for the interview. It's been some time in which the team has started playing pANcada into the sentinel role for this year. As someone who plays as controller, how do you think he has accommodated to the new role at this point in the year?

    Marved: He just needed more time and more reps. Pancada is a very great player, a smart player. He just needed time adjusting, and he does it well. I feel like he's world-class so great players like that can play any role. And yeah, he's done it really well and just needed a lot of practice.

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    CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
    Copyright © 2024 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.