The Overwatch League has been busy with signings, roster changes, and trades leading up to the highly anticipated 2020 season. But one recent roster move has Overwatch fans and players confused.
The Philadelphia Fusion recently announced they were signing popular streamer and Doomfist one-trick Philip “ChipSa” Graham.
“What it’s like when an Overwatch League team plays around a Doomfist? We’re about to find out,” the team tweeted out.
The announcement was accompanied by a video of ChipSa dabbing and saying he would “shit on everyone” if he was able to play in the Overwatch League.
While there’s no denying that ChipSa is a beast on Doomfist, the choice to sign a streamer over all of the Tier 2 Overwatch players duking it out in Contenders for a spot in the OWL didn’t seem to sit well with potential pros or the community as a whole.
ChipSa has a large following on Twitch, but he hasn’t played Overwatch professionally since 2016 when he represented Europe in the World Cup. Since then, the game’s meta and rules have changed significantly.
Now, ChipSa is the 11th player joining the Fusion for Season 3. He’s also the fifth DPS, making OWL fans wonder if he will even get a chance to leave the bench and play on stage, especially when there are more flexible DPS players on the team like Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee.
Seoul Dynasty’s Joon-yeong “Profit” Park responded to the announcement with “LOL,” but he wasn’t the only pro with an opinion on the situation.
Former Dallas Fuel assistant coach Justin “Jayne” Conroy was quick to criticize Philadelphia Fusion for signing ChipSa, immediately pointing out that the streamer’s brother, Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham, is currently the team’s coach.
When ChipSa tweeted that he was “extremely excited” to join the Fusion because he “loved the team,” Jayne responded with, “Must be really exciting to work with a team that your brother coaches. What a crazy coincidence.”
He continued to tweet about the situation, stating, “Be mad at me all you want for addressing the elephant in the room, but if the [signing] is not a joke then Fusion needs to do their due diligence and explain how picking up ChipSa over more deserving individuals was not unfairly influenced by his brother, ChrisTFer. Done.”
Houston Outlaws DPS Dante “Danteh” Cruz attempted to stand up for Philly’s shocking decision. He asked the former coach to explain parts of his own roster, hinting that there had been more deserving individuals that didn’t get signed.
“Our pickups don’t undermine the path to pro and spit in the face of individuals who actually grind for this opportunity,” Jayne responded. He added that ChipSa was a streamer “masquerading as a professional.” Jayne even called into question the “legitimacy of the league itself.”
In response, ChipSa simply stated that he loves drama.
Some in the media have pointed out that ChipSa was most likely not just handed the position on the team. He would have tried out for the team, going up against Contenders teams and players. These could be players from any region, including South Korea. If ChipSa was able to beat them for a spot in the roster, it wasn’t only his family connections that got him in the door.
Philadelphia Fusion presiden, Tucker “BLT” Roberts condemned Overwatch professionals who questioned the team’s decision to sign ChipSa.
“I knew there would be complaints of us signing ChipSa given we have Chris as our coach. But it wouldn’t be fair to ChipSa to keep him off the team because of that. We wanted him on the roster, and ultimately I made the call. If you have an issue with the decision, @ me, not Chris,” he tweeted.
He went on to say that if the meta ever demanded a Doomfist, he was happy to have “a specialist who is one of the best Doomfists” on the team. He also pointed out that, meanwhile, if ChipSa is on the bench, “we aren’t hurting someone’s career by benching them,” stating that they didn’t need another flex-DPS.
Fan favorites like xQc and Dafran were once streamers known for their antics and memes before joining the Overwatch League. There’s a possibility that ChipSa will rise up to become more than just a dabbing Doomfist main. But until then, the community remains skeptical.