Cloud9 makes early VALORANT roster change for second straight year

Cloud9 has made the first official move of the VCT Americas 2024 season, releasing Maxim “wippie” Shepelev after just three regular season matches, only half a year since signing the Russian player in the offseason.

In a follow-up free agency announcement, wippie stated his “time with C9 did not go as planned” and declared his intentions to return to playing “as soon as possible” no matter the region or competitive level. Since the start of the Red Bull Double agent event, wippie and C9 have won 13 out of 30 maps played across the offseason and the VCT Americas Kickoff, but the team only took two out of seven maps played during the Kickoff.

This isn’t the first time C9 has pulled the trigger on a quick roster move early in the VCT season right after the opening tournament. Following VCT LOCK//IN at the start of the 2023 season, C9 split up with their big free agent signing in yay, citing role issues as the primary cause. Weeks later, in-game leader vanity left the team as well.

Despite those sudden departures last year, C9 still managed to make an impact in VCT Americas play with the addition of two rookies, jakee and runi, finishing fourth place in playoffs and coming close to qualifying for Champions on two separate occasions.

Given the schedule for 2024 though, this year’s C9 team has more time to fill in the roster vacancy, as missing out on Masters Madrid means official play doesn’t resume for them until April. Several NA Challengers rosters are still in a state of flux as their season hasn’t started yet, giving C9 ample time and different players to try out next to their potential breakout superstar in OXY.

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