Saturday, June 25, 2022

Promises comeback to VALORANT Sentinels

On June 20, Hunter “SicK” Mims posted on twitter that he had gotten over his issues and would “hopefully return to competitive play soon.” The Sentinels veteran took an extended leave earlier this season to focus on his own issues. Fans are excited that Sentinel’s SicK returns, making for a second chance to make it to VALORANT Champions. The announcement met with an outpouring of love and support, both from his team and his fans. Currently, there’s still no guarantee that SicK will be allowed to return to Sentinels during the 2022 VCT season. It’s likely, though, that coach Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty will step down from his substitution and welcome SicK back for the Last Chance Qualifiers this August.

[Related: Sentinels SicK to Take Extended Leave This Season]

Earlier this season, Sentinels suffered a disheartening blow as SicK bid farewell to focus on his mental health and because of family matters. That was on June 1, and fans shared an outpouring of support and respect for the player. The Sentinels were split, and even TenZ had to sit out a match due to Covid-19. Coach Rawkus substituted for SicK, but the Sentinels failed to win a single game after losing him. SicK has been with Sentinels since the very beginning, and was there for their run at VALORANT Champions in 2021.

SicK provides a sought-after advantage to Sentinels: smoke. Being able to smoke off an area is crucial in VALORANT. It shifts the balance of the map to give one side a steep advantage. Every competitive team needs at least one agent with smokes, and losing SicK meant losing Omen. When Rawkus was filling in, he was forced to play the role of Omen despite having a 5.1% pick rate for the character. Rawkus excels at Breach, which is one of Sentinels’ least picked agents. For comparison, SicK has a 72.7% pick rate of Omen, and is far more experienced being the team’s required smokes.

The Sentinels next and final opportunity to make it to Berlin will be in August, at the Last Chance Qualifiers. They’ve been at the back of the pack all season, but the team managed to achieve the bare minimum points for entrance to the Last Chance Qualifiers. LCQ is a highly competitive tournament in August. It pits the top eight teams not eligible for Masters for a chance at Champions.

Even if SicK isn’t allowed to return for the 2022 season, he has promised to continue his monthly streams. SicK normally streams on Twitch at SicK_cs, where his streams regularly get thousands of views. He hasn’t since April, though. Whether this was to take his competitive career more seriously or to deal with his personal issues, he feels ready enough now to take on Twitch. Hopefully the time he spends streaming will help warm him up for the next round of matches.

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