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Maxim “wippie” Shepelev will not travel to Reykjavik, Iceland for the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters, Version1 announced on Thursday, May 13.

Coach Ian “Immi” Harding explained on Twitter that “due to COVID complications, it was hard for [wippie] to get an appointment to obtain the visa needed.” Therefore, wippie is unable to travel. Version1 will instead play with free agent Jamal “jammyz” Bangash as their substitute player.

Wippie misses out on Iceland after helping Version1 to qualify

Wippie was a players that many fans had their eye on. After he was picked up by Version1 to replace Keven “PLAYER1” Champagne, the team quickly improved. As Viper, he played a large role in the team, ultimately qualifying for Masters: Reykjavik. Once Masters concludes, wippie will continue to play with Version1.

“Qualifying for an international LAN was always my dream,” wippie said. “Not going just sucks. No words can describe how sad I am right now. GL to my friends in Iceland.”

Wippie’s replacement, Jammyz, is a free agent who has played alongside Version1 teammates Anthony “Vanity” Malaspina and Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro in the past. Though he has yet to truly make a mark on the VALORANT scene, Immi is confident that he will gel nicely with the team. Despite primarily playing Jett in the past, Jammyz has shown more recently that he is a capable Viper as well.

“He is a free agent and I think he is going to be able to slot into the role perfectly,” Immi said on Twitter. “He’s super skilled and hopefully we can still bring back the W with him.”

Jammyz, himself, also seems excited about stepping in for wippie. “Super thankful for the opportunity and hopefully we can still bring home the win,” the free agent-turned-substitute said.

All eyes will logically turn to Version1 now to see whether the team that was already a North American underdog can truly pull off a Cinderella story.