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On a typical Jared “zombs” Gitlin stream, viewers can watch the South Florida native’s screen filled with fast gameplay and his teammates running around with a Spectre on support agents like Astra or Viper, while zombs himself is stoic. When he gets a triple kill or an ace on stream, a feat that would normally have people out of their seats, zombs will simply check his chat.
This chill persona continues into zombs’ professional career with Sentinels. While his teammates are screaming and hyping each other up, or taunting the other team across the stage, zombs will just quietly do his job in the server. He gives up much of his own agency in-game to support his team, whether it be by buying his teammates guns or playing as the bait that they can shoot off of in clutch scenarios.
He may let loose a slight smirk, or a well-timed joke but, ultimately, the former Overwatch and Apex Legends pro never raised his voice while competing on the best North American VALORANT team during the 2021 season.
Zombs’ journey to Sentinels
Zombs started his esports career in 2016 with Overwatch, jumping into the beta with some friends after playing free-to-play shooter titles for fun. He was a prolific North American DPS player and competed on teams like Team Liquid and FaZe Clan before taking a backseat during the first season of the Overwatch League.
“I got c***ed so hard out of the first season,” zombs said about the OWL on the The Dusttin Bowerman Show in March of 2021. He was playing with Cloud9, who said they wanted him to play for their team, the London Spitfire, but the organization eventually went with an all South Korean roster.
From there, zombs turned to streaming and eventually Apex Legends. He said he was still being courted by teams for Overwatch, but that he’d like to play professionally in another title for a Tier 1 esports organization, rather than play in Overwatch Contenders or wait to see if the OWL had an opening.
Zombs switched to Apex Legends in 2019 with Sentinels. His time in the battle royale was short lived but he became one of the first people to hit the top rank, Predator. He also placed sixth at the Alex Legends Preseason Invitational.
In 2020, he transitioned to VALORANT for Sentinels and started his third career esport as another top North American prospect.
“It was just an obvious choice that Riot Games and VALORANT was gonna be better for my career anyways, so it was an easy decision there,” he told theScore esports in August of 2021.
In the Riot Games FPS shooter, zombs blew up in popularity thanks to his deadpan delivery, great gameplay and professional success. His fans became known as “zombsnation” and they even invaded other streamers’ chats to spread the word of his success.
“People don’t even know who I am but, because people always spam zombsnation randomly, probably way more people know who I am only because of that,” zombs said on The Dusttin Bowerman Show.
With success and popularity has come some criticism and increased scrutiny. His prolonged beef with Brazilian fans over Twitter at VALORANT Champions is an example of this. According to zombs, he doesn’t take it too seriously.
After a successful 2021, which saw Sentinels and zombs appear at each VALORANT Champions Tour international event, zombs will take on a new challenge in the new league format and the constantly improving NA scene.
When asked how Sentinels strategized against teams at the start of his career, zombs let his more confident side come out.
“S*** I don’t know, I just play the game,” zombs said with a laugh in an interview with Run It Back after the VALORANT 30Bomb Summer Cup in 2020.
When Sentinels claimed their sole international title at VCT Stage 2: Masters Reykjavík, the team hoisted the trophy with gusto. Their months of preparation and matches had paid off. While the rest of the squad put their hands on the trophy in its inaugural lift, zombs chose to not intrude. Instead, he stood next to his team with his hands near the silver and purple prize. He would eventually get to hold it in his hands. But, just as he is in-game, he was cool and collected during the joyous moment.
During the post-match interview, zombs was asked how it felt to win the trophy in VALORANT, after switching titles throughout the years. His response was what his fans have come to expect from the quiet but confident support player.
“I mean, it’s pretty easy for me. I’m just insane at every FPS,” he said. “Any new game that comes out, I’ll be pro.”
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.