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Version1 stole the hearts of many fans after their miracle run in Masters 2; now they’re a team to keep an eye on coming into VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3.

Are Version1 the underdogs of Stage 3?

Version1 exceeded all expectations for North America by taking down some of the best in the world at Masters 2. With the tournament behind them and two new players on the roster, Version1 is a dark horse in NA once again.

Masters 2 started with Verion1’s Maxim “Wippie” Shepelev being unable to attend Iceland due to visa issues. That meant that the team had to play with stand-in Jamal “Jammyz” Bangash. Despite a stand-in, Version1 banded together to impress all regions with their level of play. With Masters 2 behind them, Wippie can now re-join the team and pick up where he left off.

However, that doesn’t put an end to the issues that Version1 has to deal with. Now, Version1 faces another challenge with Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro being suspended from play due to conflict with a tournament official at Masters 2. Even with Wippie back on the roster, Version1 still won’t be playing with the original five players that qualified them for Masters 2. Instead, previous Luminosity player Brady “thief” Dever will be playing for Version1.

All aboard the Version1 hype train for Stage 3!

Version1 showed that even without Wippie they are a force to be reckoned with. Erik “Penny” Penny, Anthony “vanity” Malaspina, and Loic “effys” Sauvageau all had breakout performances at Masters 2. The core three for Version1 all proved themselves as top-tier players. The lack of Zellsis won’t stop Version1 from showing North America that it was the right choice to have them represent NA internationally.

There’s no doubt in the talent currently on Version1’s roster. Adding thief should further strengthen that string of talent, but we won’t know what Version1’s real roster is capable of until they compete. Zellsis is suspended until the first round of Challengers completes, which could last throughout July. When Zellsis does return the roster, we will finally see what Version1’s core five can accomplish. Until then Version1’s current four members will have to be strong enough to carry them through the open qualifier.