Version1’s Zellsis: “If you want to make a life for yourself, you have to be hungry enough” cover image

Version1’s Zellsis: “If you want to make a life for yourself, you have to be hungry enough”

Version1 are one of two North American teams playing at VCT Masters Reykjavik and are taking NA Valorant by storm. Here is how they are doing it.

Formerly CS:GO players, Version1 are a new Valorant team comprising formerly CS: GO players taking the North American scene by storm after qualifying for VCT Masters Reykjavik.  

Version1 are one of two North American teams at VCT Masters Reykjavik and their rise to the top is a spectacle. Version1, a Minnesota based esports organization, are a new team to Valorant. Yet, they are  making gigantic strides on their pathway to becoming one of North America’s top teams. Known now as the underdogs that could, Version1 are now in a position to prove that their run to VCT Masters Reykjavik is no fluke.

They are a group of players who enjoy playing together and have an overarching goal to become the best. However, what makes this team stand out from other Valorant teams extends far past talent and experience alone. 

What makes this team unparalleled to others is that their system is built on trust and appreciation for each other as players. 

“I can get by with a weaker gun and I’ll always take one for the team if it means we become stronger and win," said Version1 IGL Vanity shortly after qualifying for VCT Masters Reykjavik.

With three years of experience as an in-game leader from CS:GO, Vanity is one of the most established North American IGLs. While he himself is by no means lost in-game, his priorities are set around making the players around him better.

<em>Vanity is the IGL of Version1.</em>
Vanity is the IGL of Version1.

“I'm not the best player in the world, but I know that my teammates will have more impact with better guns," said Vanity.

Vanity, who previously played for Eunited and Chaos Esports Club in CS:GO, understands he does not need to be the best player to be a great leader. This understanding is something that can be very hard to admit in esports and only comes with experience.

Zellsis: CS: GO didn't work out, it was a dark time in my life

The ever changing nature of esports makes trust a rare commodity. While naturally you may want to do whatever it takes to win, there is always more to that decision process. It can be hard to relinquish control to other players and put yourself at risk of being seen as an expendable lineup piece. 

“With esports, if you step off the gas pedal just a little bit, you could fall down to nothing. You gotta keep it going and you can't give up like you can't let anything stop you otherwise you're gonna hit a brick wall.” Version1’s Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro states.

Fear of finding a long-term gig in esports hinders the ability to trust others and makes it hard to regain trust. Zellsis, a former CS:GO player is somebody who spent years trying to find a team he could call home in CS:GO until making the switch to Valorant.

“It didn’t work out and honestly, it was a dark time in my life.” Zellsis admits when reflecting on his CS:GO days. “And when I switched over to Valorant, I was scared and unsure how good I could become in Valorant.”

<em>Zellsis is now a key player in Version1's core.</em>
Zellsis is now a key player in Version1's core.

And the fear is understandable. Imagine spending years trying to develop something in esports only to keep failing over and over again. Yet, even with these unknown variables, Zellsis is now finding a home with Version1. And that would have never been the case without failure.

“If you fall off the bike are you gonna stop trying to ride the bike or are you going to get back up.” Zellsis passionately states. “If you want to make a life for yourself, you have to be hungry enough to do whatever it is you're going to do.”

Years of trial and error coming together for VCT Masters Reykjavik

Version1’s values center around trust, keep this team thinking about the bigger picture instead of solo showings. They understand that failure is part of the process and only makes them stronger as a team. These qualities are what the Version1 IGL was looking for while building this roster.

“All my teammates work really hard.” Anthony "vanity" Malaspina proudly states. "If I ask something, they do it without question and I think that's something that isn't very common.” 

With so much pressure to perform, this notion to put trust in others' abilities is extremely difficult. However, for Vanity, it is a must to create a longstanding group of players that will not slowly crack.

 “Once someone doesn't buy into that system, you will develop issues. They will lose a round because someone doesn't fully believe in what you say and become bigger issues.”

Version1, The Glue to a team with potential

Version1’s imperfections and failures are what make this team so relatable. These experiences in CS:GO make the players adaptable to losses because they have faith in being able to bounce back. Thus, culminating into a system built on trust and driven by a drive to truly become the best team in Valorant.

“This right here, this team and this organization is the best place I've ever been and I can't be more than grateful.” Zellsis says when asked about having support from Version1. “It feels great to have this love, this family and this system.”

With VCT Masters Reykjavik shortly on its way, Version1 are looking to show people that this is only the start of an amazing journey. And for those who don’t believe in the team just yet, they have some closing words.

“We're gonna keep working hard.” Zellsis explains. “If you don't support us and need a reason to, you know, we're here we're waiting. We'll keep playing. And when you want to come over to the Version1 side, we will welcome you with open arms.” Zellsis concludes.

Version1 fans can catch the North American organization in action starting May 24. The North American underdogs will play against Crazy Raccoon. The VCT Masters Reykjavik is the first international LAN event for Valorant.

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