Version1 signs Wardell as stand-in for Valorant roster

Bill Cooney

Former CSGO pro and TSM player Matthew ‘Wardell’ Yu has been officially signed to Version1 Valorant as a stand-in for Maxim ‘wippie’ Shepelev.

23-year-old Wardell was previously a CSGO pro before making the jump to Valorant. He was signed to TSM for almost two years, before parting ways with the org in March of 2022.

After being without a team for roughly a month, Version1 announced they would be signing Wardell — temporarily, at least — to stand in for wippie. Though exactly how many games he’ll play for the team, if at all, remains up in the air.

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Wardell signs to Version1 Valorant

On April 26, Version1 announced the signing of Wardell on Twitter. Explaining it was due to visa issues with Russian player, wippie, the org said the addition would only be temporary and didn’t say how long the change will last.

“Version1 Valorant has signed Wardell as a temporary stand-in for Wippie,” the org tweeted. This temporary roster change is due to visa-related circumstances, and it is our intention for Wippie to rejoin the roster when he is able to do so.”

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Just hours after this announcement and Wippie’s visa issues now appear to be resolved. “Got my American visa approved today,” he shared on April 26.

If Version1 remains true to its word, this could mean Wardell never plays an official match for them. With Wippie making his way back to the USA, there’s every chance he returns ahead of Stage 2.

Wardell joins Version1 roughly a month after being let go from TSM’s Valorant roster.

Version1 failed to make the VCT Stage 1 Masters in Reykjavik after finishing in 5-6th place at Stage 1 NA Challengers.

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How Version1 will fare with Wardell remains to be seen, if they do indeed play an official game with him. Regardless, it’s clear a player of his caliber is definitely still in high demand, especially with the Stage 1 Masters crown being brought back to NA by OpTic.

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About The Author

Bill is a former writer at Dexerto based in Iowa, who covered esports, gaming and online entertainment for more than two years. With the US team, Bill covered Overwatch, CSGO, Influencer culture, and everything in between.