So, there I was, enjoying my Tuesday afternoon, planning my next few articles for the upcoming week or so and then BOOOOM my phone blows up, along with the entirety of OW Twitter as the Fusion announced the signing of DPS player Philip “ChipSa” Graham.
I’m going to have to conduct this announcement piece completely differently than my Heesu one because there are so many elements to this shocking move, and I’ll have to mention how the move got a load of big Overwatch personalities arguing over Twitter, honestly the last 24 hours have been crazy, so buckle in because you’re in for a ride!
ChipSa is the number 1 Doomfist player in the world and has a massive following on Twitch where he streams regularly. ChipSa is well known by the Overwatch fanbase as a content creator and personality but no one ever thought he’d be a pro player and that’s where this move shocked everyone.
Before I get into my opinion on the move, I’m going to give you some positives and negatives around the move, because there’s a few of each.
The first positive from the move is that he’s the number 1 Doomfist player in the world, there isn’t anyone, currently, who’s better than him on that character which means teams can’t out Doomfist the team because there’s no one better on the character.
Another positive, and this is from more of a business point of view, is that ChipSa has a huge personal following and will bring the majority of his fanbase over to being Fusion fans, meaning more eyes on the Fusion brand and more merch sales and maybe even more ticket sales, etc. From that point of view, it’s the perfect move straight away.
A third positive surrounding the move is the reason the move is so controversial in the eyes of some in the Overwatch community. ChipSa’s brother, ChrisTFer, is a coach with the Fusion, so people are saying his brother got him the job but I’ll get into that later. Anyway, this is actually a positive of having a brother as your coach, it’s someone you know and trust so they should make a dream duo for Philly unless they’re like some brothers who hate the guts of each other, then we could be screwed.
The final positive I can think of from this move links in with the first point and many people seem to be missing that this point exists. As I said earlier, ChipSa is the number 1 Doomfist in the world, if there’s a Doomfist meta at any point in the next season we are perfectly set to succeed at a high level due to this, if not, then he can carry on his streaming career whilst not taking a spot on the bench from another, more flexible player like Ivy. He hasn’t really taken a roster spot that will hurt us, it’s almost a no-lose situation for the Fusion overall.
However, I’m not saying that the move to get ChipSa is without negatives. One negative is that he is so good on one character that all his play on the other characters in the game is seriously below the requirement for the league. This could hurt the Fusion during a match because if the enemy team are countering Doomfist hard it pretty much makes the game 6 vs 5 against the Fusion.
Another negative of the move is ChipSa has never played or experience professional Overwatch before. He may crumble under a high-pressure situation where a game may mean we need a win to qualify for the playoffs, it’s a risk, no matter how skilled the player is, to put someone with no experience into a professional scene.
Now, onto the fun part, this move has caused a mass of drama on Twitter with many big figures in the Overwatch community getting involved. The man in the middle of it all is ex Dallas Fuel coach Jayne. Jayne has stated that the Fusion signing ChipSa when his brother is a coach with the team isn’t a coincidence and that it’s a slap in the face to every player who is currently grinding to be a pro player one day. He went on a Twitter rant about the whole thing, then stating that because he is out of the league, he can spill all of their dark secrets.
Now, I’ll start off by saying that so what if his brother had something to do with the move, has it not crossed your mind that ChrisTFer believes his brother would be a good fit at the Fusion and personally knows how good his brother is? It’s also quite ironic he would bring up the fact that other players deserved the roster spot over ChipSa, when he picked streamer xQc for his team, even after he knew some of the games, he couldn’t play due to his streaming commitments. Also, in the last few hours, it’s been leaked that Jayne was the main reason an esports organization’s OW videos were taken down on YouTube when he snitched to officials at the OWL, it seems you may have to focus on your own brand and reputation to me Jayne…
Now, I can’t see much wrong with the move. Is it a risk? Yes, of course, it is but it has more upside than it does downside so why not take that risk. Like I said it’s not like he is taking a valuable spot on the bench from Ivy or whichever DPS player is dropped at the start of the season and if a Doomfist meta occurs during the season there isn’t a better team equipped to dominate the league than the Fusion. Welcome ChipSa, can’t wait to see you stick it to the haters!
Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment