Version1 established their VALORANT roster early in 2021, with the team being formed out of what some considered “CSGO rejects” or “outcasts”. If this roster is considered outcasts then every team should strive to be, as they proved that they were a force to be reckoned as they dominated just about every team they faced in their path to qualifying for Reykjavik. With most of North America thinking V1 making it to Iceland is a fluke, they will look to prove otherwise.
Anthony “vanity” Malaspina
Loic “effys” Sauvageau
Erik “penny” Penny
Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro
Maxim “wippie” Shepelev
Often overlooked when it comes to elite professional Valorant rosters – this team is not made of “stars” as Sentinels is – these 5 still form a formidable opponent for anyone willing to take them on. Every player on this team spent time in CSGO, Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro even went back to Counter-Strike after first trying out the game during VALORANT’s orginal beta run.
Erik “penny” Penny and Zellsis will be the team’s duelists. The first, V1’s Jett player, has become one to watch on this team. While not the superstar that someone like Tyson “TenZ” Ngo is, he’s remarkably consistent and plays a big role in the team’s play.
Zellsis originally tried VALORANT in the game’s beta phase, then went back to Counter-Strike, and now has found himself again in Riot’s tactical shooter. “I wanted to come to VALORANT and build a legacy,” he told THESPIKE.GG. “I burnt a lot of bridges in CS, and didn’t really fulfill what I could. VALORANT was a fresh start, so I came here to accomplish everything I couldn’t do in CS.”
Typically on Phoenix, Raze, or Reyna, there’s an argument to be made that any other player can bring what Zellsis does to this team. He’s a big fragger and often on cleanup duty, a typical style for this duelist slot present all over North America. But no other player is in this spot. Zellsis is, and its up to him to make a difference on the international stage.
Loic “effys” Sauvageau has been playing VALORANT since the beta, when he joined Gen.G Esports. effys played a lot of roles with Gen.G, including Sage, Omen, and Sova, but primarily was that team’s IGL. Now taking up Sage and Sova duties with V1, he’s found himself calling less and less and more in a position to frag, something he’s shown the VALORANT community he can do just as well.
Maxim “wippie” Shepelev joined V1 just before Challengers Finals, and made an immediate difference. He brings a stellar Viper into play for the team, an agent that has become crucial in the meta recently, and big fragging potential. He plays Killjoy on Ascent for the team as well. Sadly, as reported yesterday Wippie will not be able to make the trip to Reykjavik for Masters 2 due to visa issues. In his place, former beastcoast duelist player Jamal “jammyz” Bangash will join V1 in his place. With this change, the teams composition from map to map will surely change. With teams preparing for Wippie, it’s possible that JammyZ playing throws off the teams opponents.
Lastly, Anthony “vanity” Malaspina has become arguably the face of the team. The charismatic In-Game Leader is typically on the Astra, and seems to come up in the clutch when the team needs it.
V1 have made it this far for one big reason – the game’s meta fits them perfectly. Their playstyle has shifted to entirely revolving around Astra and Viper, and its doubtful they would have gotten where they are if things didn’t trend in this direction. But in Iceland, every team is there because they’ve run a better playstyle than all others from their region. The big question now is: will V1 have enough individual skill to take them past international competition?
It’s clear that Version has every intention on proving to the rest of the world that they belong in the conversations with the top notch North American profession VALORANT teams, with 10 teams from across the globe they will no doubt get their chance. “Since it’s the first international LAN it will be a good test for every region,” Zellsis said. “Hopefully a win would be nice but placing in the top two with our fellow Americans would also be nice. We will see what happens.”
Without having any cross region play yet, it’s hard to determine just what V1’s expectations, but fans should keep their eyes on this lesser known team.
Zellsis gave one final word to North American fans: “I hope even though we aren’t Sentinels, TSM, Envy, or 100T, people will still support us or at least the NA region. I see a lot of people hating on us when we worked hard to get here, so just show some kindness. Also: #WeAreZellsis.”