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On Friday, Sentinels announced that Jared “zombs” Gitlin is stepping back from the organization’s active VALORANT roster, though he will still be part of the org in some capacity. Sentinels later tweeted that Eric “Kanpeki” Xu, formerly of Akrew, is taking his place.

Kanpeki’s move to Sentinels had already been reported by Dot Esports, but now there’s official confirmation from Sentinels that the former Akrew player will be joining the fallen kings of North American VALORANT.

Sentinels makes a change

Despite their fairly up and down performance during their tenure in VALORANT, Sentinels have been one of the more consistent North American rosters on the scene, only changing out Jay “Sinatraa” Won for Tyson “TenZ” Ngo after the former was given a six month suspension from competing in the VALORANT Champions Tour after he failed to cooperate with an investigation into allegations of sexual assault levied against him.

But with their recent shaky performances in Stage 1 of 2022 NA VCT, it looks like the organization finally decided something had to change for the roster to see success in Stage 2. Zombs has been the main target of speculation for which member of the squad would be swapped out. There were rumors that Sentinels would be replacing him with Sinatraa, but those were put to bed when Riot announced that the former Sentinels player wouldn’t be able to stage his VALORANT comeback just yet.

Who is Kanpeki?

According to the announcement video for his Sentinels signing, it was actually TenZ who first floated Kanpeki’s name as a possible addition to the roster.

“Kanpeki, he’s a good friend of mine,” TenZ said in the video. “And he did play for the Tier 2 team Akrew.”

Kanpeki is one of the former EZ5 VALORANT roster who were signed by Tier 2 organization Akrew in October of 2021 as the company’s first venture into the world of esports. Prior to this, Akrew made a name for itself as the company behind the Animal Crossing item marketplace Nookazon and the video game item trading platform Traderie.

While Akrew did find some successes in the Tier 2 VALORANT scene, they have yet to crack the upper ranks of North American VCT. Now, Kanpeki will have the chance to compete at a higher level and hopefully the energy he brings to the squad will help them return to their Masters 1 2021 form.