North American esports organization Version1 has announced the signing of former TSM star player Matthew “Wardell” Yu as a temporary stand-in for the upcoming VCT NA Stage 2 qualifiers.

Wardell will fill in for Russian player Maxim “wippie” Shepelev, who is unable to compete due to visa issues. V1 confirmed that they intend for wippie to rejoin the roster once he is able to do so.

Version1 adds Wardell as a temporary stand-in to its roster

Version1 signs Wardell as a temporary stand-in for Wippie
Credit: V1

Wardell became one of the top free agents in Valorant when he and TSM mutually parted ways in late March, after the 23-year-old Canadian pro decided not to move to Texas with the rest of the TSM roster.

He was previously spotted practicing with V1 on Tyson “TenZ” Ngo’s Twitch stream, and had confirmed on an Instagram Story that he would be filling in for wippie until the Russian player resolved his visa issues.

V1 had a promising start to the VCT 2022 season, advancing to the VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Main Event through the open qualifiers. The team then went on an undefeated 5-0 streak in the group stage, the only team other than Cloud9 to do so.

The squad had been looking like one of North America’s brightest prospects, until their Stage 1 run was cut short after losses to Luminosity Gaming and Cloud9 in the playoffs.

V1 Valorant roster

  • Loic “effys” Sauvageau
  • Erik “penny” Penny
  • Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro
  • Alexander “Zander” Dituri (in-game leader)
  • Matthew “Wardell” Yu (stand-in)

It’s not yet clear what role Wardell will play on V1, since he is primarily a Jett and Chamber main. On the other hand, wippie is the team’s main controller. V1 also already has a Jett main in penny.

V1 is set to debut with Wardell in the VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers’ open qualifiers on April 28. Fans can watch the official matches live on Nerd Street Gamers’ Twitch channel.

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