After years of being absent from the competitive FPS scene, former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) pro and streaming legend Michael “shroud” Grzesiek announced on Saturday (9 July) his return to active competition by joining the ranks of Sentinels’ VALORANT roster.
The initial announcement video was dropped without any warning online.
But it wasn’t just the fans who were caught off-guard, as shroud said that even Sentinels themselves were very surprised.
“[Sentinels] all thought I was trolling,” said shroud. “They all thought I was trolling, but I was not trolling.”
Shroud went on to stream shortly after the announcement, where he explained that he was asked if his name could be put in to try out as the fifth member of Sentinels, to which he said yes.
Shroud, 28, retired from competitive CS:GO in 2018, previously mentioning that competitive gaming can be "too much work".
Since then, shroud went on to pursue full-time streaming, with a brief stint on Mixer before going to Twitch to gain an even more massive following.
But now that he’s back, all signs point north to shroud stepping in for Hunter “SicK” Mims, who is taking a prolonged leave from the Sentinels roster due to "family matters".
This means that shroud will join Sentinels as controller, despite having no professional VALORANT experience.
Sentinels could use an experienced player like shroud on their roster, especially during their recent slump.
The team is looking to reclaim its former glory after several disappointing results and losses this year.
With Sentinels head coach Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty filling in for SicK, the team failed to qualify for this year's VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 and Stage 2 Masters tournaments after disappointing showings in the North America Challengers events.
Sentinels' struggles in the 2022 VCT look even worse when compared to their form in the 2021 season.
The team was one of the best in the world last year, becoming the first-ever squad to win an international VALORANT title in 2021 Masters Reykjavík. While Sentinels began to fall off after Reykjavík, finishing in 5th-8th place at Masters Berlin and 9th-12th in 2021 VALORANT Champions, many expected the team would at least still be a contender in North America.
After their fall from grace, Sentinels is now hoping to get back on top with a retooled roster.
With shroud on the roster, the team will soon begin practicing to prepare for the 2022 VALORANT Champions Last Chance Qualifier tournament in August, where the team hopes to make a comeback.
Known for his impeccable aim, shroud made a name for himself previously as a member of Cloud9, a team he led to a championship in multiple tournaments, most notably ESL Pro League Season 4 in 2016.
Sentinels VALORANT roster:
Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan
Michael "dapr" Gulino
Tyson "TenZ" Ngo
Eric "Kanpeki" Xu
Michael "shroud" Grzesiek
Feb has been trying to speedrun Super Mario 64 ever since he started playing video games at 11 years old. He has never succeeded, but has completed other video games in the time since. When not playing, he's usually playing music or building Gunpla.