To state that the Fusion pick-up of the streamer Philip ‘ChipSa’ Graham was controversial for many with the league, and the fans watching, is a bit of an understatement.
The Fusion completely bypassed the T2 scene, and Blizzard‘s own ‘Path to Pro’ in what appeared to be a bit of a publicity stunt at best in picking up what many called a ‘one-trick pony’ that entertained Twitch fans with his Doomfist play.
Fans that weren’t ChipSa viewers were annoyed, some statements came out of the T2 scene about a lost opportunity for a PR stunt, and to say that there were ruffled feathers is an accurate statement; even other esport analysts took note of the movement for the briefest of moments.
Now, the ploy has apparently all come to an end: the Philadelphia Fusion has announced that ChipSa has been removed from the roster moving forward, and they wish him luck.
We only spent one season @ChipSa_OW, but we can't thank him enough for the hard work and laughter he brought to all of Fusion.
We wish you luck in wherever your career takes you next, and we are proud to have had you as a member of the team this year.
Thank you, ChipSa! pic.twitter.com/WY0zVLo7TX
— Philadelphia Fusion (@Fusion) October 21, 2020
As the player is removed from the roster, once again some are reminded of the obvious nepotism that the PR stunt was surrounded by, with allegations that the player was only picked up temporarily to grow his streaming presence.
Even Jayne stated as much; it is widely considered to be a poor maneuver that banked on one brother rising to prominence and ensuring that the sibling would profit from it using his influence within the team.
Be mad at me all you want for addressing the elephant in the room, but if the above is NOT a joke then @Fusion needs to do their due diligence and explain how picking up @ChipSa_OW over more deserving individuals was not unfairly influenced by his brother @ChrisTFerOW. Done.
— Jayne (@EnvyJayne) November 26, 2019
With how rarely Philip Graham actually played with the Fusion, it appears that Jayne wasn’t as far off from the truth as many would have liked: primarily ChipSa streaming fans as it appeared.
Regardless of where you fall on the controversy that was Philip Graham joining his brothers Overwatch League team, it is all indifferent now; the debacle and spectacle has ended, and all parties have at this point made their stance on the maneuver well known.
It is unlikely that ChipSa will be picked up by another team, even considering the current desert of DPS players that has been founded by the sudden incoming of Valorant that has successfully siphoned off players in the middle of a league.
The Philadelphia Fusion have also parted ways with their head coach today, Dong-Gun Kim, and support player Isaac ‘Boombox’ Charles yesterday. In comparison to other Overwatch League teams, to state that the Fusion has been relatively mild in the offseason thus far is accurate. It’s plausible, however, that the organization has yet to proverbially unleash the Kraken of drops and transfers.