In this preview of the international VCT Masters 2 in Reykjavík, take a look at the roster, tendencies, and odds of a growing, underdog Version1 squad. After failing to qualify for Masters 1, V1 has come back ferociously in these Challenges to earn a spot in Valorant’s first international tournament.
When compared to long-standing orgs like NRG, or popularly dominant teams like Sentinels and FaZe Clan, V1 seems to have come out of nowhere. In February, 2019-born WISE Ventures Esports, owners of the CDL’s Minnesota Røkkr, acquired a Valorant team and simultaneously rebranded itself as Version1.
The original roster has remained almost completely intact since its genesis, save for one change. Following Kevin “PLAYER1” Champagne’s exit last month, the Russian Maxim “wippie” Shepelev has stepped in to help solidify wins against Andbox, NRG, Envy, and Cloud9.
However, due to COVID-related restrictions and visa issues, Wippie will be temporarily replaced by Jamal “jammyz” Bangash, a free agent formerly with beastcoast. According to Dot Esports, V1’s substitute has previously leaned towards the agents Jett and Viper.
Here’s Coach @IanImmi with the details.
— Version1 (@version1gg) May 13, 2021
As of late, the team’s agent composition has seen Penny and Zellsis alternating as Raze, with the former often opting for Reyna or Jett and the latter for Phoenix. Effys plays as Sova or Sage while Wippie takes Viper or Killjoy, and Vanity is almost always sure to pick up Astra. However, V1 certainly knows when to mix things up; entering the first rounds against the overwhelmingly skilled Sentinels, Vanity opted for Yoru while Wippie went for Omen, and Zellsis took on Viper.
Given V1 has lost to the best team in North America twice, it’s fair to wonder how they will compete against the best rosters throughout others regions of the world. According to Liquipedia’s algorithm-based ratings system, V1 barely lags behind their most formidable competition. Additionally, V1 has beaten two teams (Team Envy and Cloud9) with higher LPR than any of the non-North American teams confirmed for the next tournament.
By these statistics, one can see that Version1—despite losing Wippie for now—will certainly be competitive in VCT Masters 2. While the Sentinels will likely be heavy favorites to win it all, V1 will build upon their recently found strengths to make an international statement.