Shroud's Sentinels Debut in VCT NA LCQ Breaks Viewership Records
It seems like the entirety of the esports community was busy watching the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) North America (NA) Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) series between Sentinels and The Guard on 4th August as the matchup marked the return of veteran player Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek to pro play. The opening match of the tournament featuring Sentinels and its newest addition Shroud broke the peak viewership record for matches taking place in an NA competition. Apart from the official Valorant Twitch channel, the series was co-streamed by popular personalities like Hannah “bnans” Kennedy, Kyedae “Kyedae” Shymko and Tarik “tarik” Celik. Notably, bnans streamed Shroud’s return from Shroud’s stream, making it quite the spectacle.
Shroud’s comeback to pro play: Viewership records
According to , the best-of-three series of Sentinels vs The Guard on the opening day of the VCT NA LCQ garnered 623,475 peak viewers. This viewership record makes the tournament the most viewed North American Valorant tournament to date. This also ranks seventh for the highest peak viewership in the game, just trailing behind some international Valorant events. The ranking is as follows, according to data sourced from via pro license.
Valorant Champions 2021 - 1,089,068 peak viewers
VCT 2021 Stage 2 Masters Reykjavik - 1,085,850
VCT 2022: Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik - 1,065,887
VCT 2021: Stage 3 Masters Berlin - 811,370
VCT 2022: Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen - 783,985
Twitch Rivals Valorant - 692,277
VCT 2022: NA LCQ - 623,475
The same day, FaZe Clan and Evil Geniuses faced each other in the second series and it attracted a peak viewership of 169,848.
Sentinels has always retained top viewership in North America, thanks to its engagement and its ardent following. The team has insane energy and features some of the most skilled and entertaining players in Valorant esports.
It is also worth noting that the series between Sentinels and Luminosity Gaming in VCT 2021 North America Stage 1 Masters previously held the record for the most viewed North American match with a peak viewer count of .
Shroud’s comeback game alongside the squad of Sentinels might have set a new record for North American Valorant viewership. However, the series against The Guard did not go according to plan for the team as it lost the opening series 2-1 and has been pushed to the lower bracket of the NA LCQ.
Despite the loss, Shroud excelled in the series as he had clutch plays and unimaginable flicks onto his opponents. On the decider map of Icebox in the series, Sentinels slowly caught up to The Guard which was poised to win the game comfortably. The map went into overtime with a 12-12 score and on the 25th round, Shroud's insane 4K secured his team a point. It was a 3v3 scenario and The Guard members were playing post-plant positions. After Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo missed consecutive operator shots, Shroud ran straight into his opponents and killed them swiftly as Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan defused the spike.
Fans can tune into the Valorant Twitch channel or the other co-streams to catch the NA teams fighting in this LCQ for the last spot to make it to Valorant Champions in Istanbul, Turkey.