ChrisTFer – Mosaic’s new tank on the org, Contenders, and his Overwatch New Year’s Resolution

In the days leading up to Christmas, Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham, formerly of Hammers Esports, Team Singularity, and the United Kingdom World Cup team, announced that he would be joining Arizona-based Mosaic Esports.

I caught up with ChrisTFer during the holidays to ask him about the newest stage in his Overwatch Journey.

Photo: Robert Paul

Congratulations on the new team! How does it feel to be back in the grind, playing competitively again?

It feels really good. Things can get pretty stressful when all you are doing is trailing around and waiting for information. If you are playing with a different roster every day, it feels like you are wasting time with no real reason or way to improve. It’s great to finally be able to do a vod review again.

Sounds pretty stressful. How many teams did you trial with before you got the offer from Mosaic?

Five, I think. Some of them weren’t very long; a block or two.

Mosaic is a brand new organization, and Overwatch is their first esport. Tell me a bit about them. What attracted you to their team? What was the recruiting process like?

The existing roster was the main reason I became interested. Certain roles in OW feel pretty hard to fill, and I think that the three players already at Mosaic [Luddee, Emil, and Kodak] are really good. It would’ve been hard to find better if I were to have built my own roster. Once I sat down and had a conversation with the owner about the organization and the goals for it, the decision became very easy for me to make.

The roster re-unites you with Fischer. You played with him on The Chavs/Hammers throughout the middle of the year, and then on Singularity during Contenders Season 1. What does a partnership that long bring to the table?

It brings synergy both in and out of the game. Fischer is one of my best friends, and we know we can work together. We often see the game slightly differently, and we are always comfortable calling each other out when we disagree, which makes it very easy to improve certain parts of each other’s game.

Did you and Fischer trial together for Mosaic?

Mosaic trialed different people every day, and I did a bunch of them, so sometimes it was with Fischer, yeah.

Aside from Fischer, the rest of the team is Luddee, Emil, Kodak, and Vallutaja. Who are you most excited to work with going forward?

They all bring something different to the table. Vallu is mega experienced and we know he can perform at a world class level in the biggest events. Emil is very fun to work with, as it feels like we had a great synergy almost from day one. It already feels easier to play with Emil than with any other offtank I’ve played with. And the support duo is all about their potential. Both are 17 and playing roles where there isn’t much talent left outside of OWL, so I’m confident they will become the best support duo in contenders.

What makes playing with one off-tank easier than playing with another? Is it skill? Communication? Positioning? Strategy?

All of the above, really. Comms are the main thing though. With Emil, we both seem to see the game in a similar way, which makes it easy to go for certain things, as he almost instinctively is doing the same thing I am.

Looking forward to Contenders 2018, the format is going to look a bit different this time around, with more teams, fewer games per team, academy teams, and a new prize pool structure. What are your thoughts on Contenders’ new look?

I think everyone was pretty worried about how Contenders was going to look; we all heard rumours about certain rules which made it difficult to foresee getting a livable salary whilst doing Contenders. Thankfully Blizzard knocked it out of the park with their ruleset. The buyout clause is perfect, and the way the prize pool is done per map should make it way more enjoyable to watch for a spectator.

I hadn’t thought about that. It gives teams something to play for even if they’re already down 3-0 in a game, or have lost a few matches. On the subject of watching the games, another big change with Contenders is that there are now seven regions, all of which will be playing at around the same time. With so many games to watch, what are your plans for making Mosaic’s games “must watch”?

I think all eyes will be on OWL, but I will still follow the games from NA+EU+KR, as there is still a lot of talent that will inevitably break though.

Since it’s the end of the year, I have to ask you the cheesy end-of-year questions. So here goes: What was your favorite Overwatch memory/moment from 2017?

World Cup qualifiers at Santa Monica was by far the highlight of 2017. The biggest LAN event I’d ever played, and to win all our games in such dominant fashion was great. I also got to spend a week in LA with Team UK, who I consider to be really close friends of mine, so the whole week was excellent.

Do you have an Overwatch New Year’s Resolution?

The easy answer is to say to “get into OWL” or “win Contenders”, and whilst this is true, I want to put more focus on myself as an individual. I want to make sure that by the time the next OWL trial period comes up, I feel like I am at 100% of my game on all the heroes, and make it an easy decision for the teams to trial me.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me over the holidays; I wish you the best of luck over the coming year. Where can we find you on social Media?

I’m @ChrisTFerOW on Twitter and Mosaic Esports is @MosaicGG.

 

 

Advertisements
Interviews Overwatch Contenders

Around the Watch archives: 18 interviews with Overwatch League players and staff

For the past ten months, Around the Watch has interviewed players, coaches, managers, and influencers. Many of the people we interviewed have since found spots in the Overwatch League, and with the preseason beginning soon, now is the perfect time to revisit those interviews.

AtW

Mendokusaii

“I’m pretty jacked and people don’t mess with me but I’m pretty scared of Gods” (Jan 25)
Mendo joined us from South Korea, where he was representing Cloud9 in Season 2 of OGN APEX. Cloud9 narrowly missed progressing out of the group stages, and after departing Korea, Mendo became a full-time Overwatch streamer for Cloud9. He’s now with the Houston Outlaws.

Numlocked

“I want to know how the hell you win a game of Earthshatter chicken” (Feb 8)
When we spoke with Numlocked, he was representing NRG. Picked up right before Season 1 of OGN APEX to be their Lucio player, he also represented the org at MLG Vegas. After NRG failed to qualify for Contenders Season 0, he departed, eventually joining Envision for Contenders Season 1. He now plays main tank for Los Angeles Valiant.

Flame

“What’s it like having a small, oddly well-mannered personal army?” (Feb 24)
Although he initially planned on being a pro player, Flame quickly transitioned to analysis. At the time that we spoke with him, he had already become one of the more well-known analysts in the scene, and had landed his first desk gig at MLG Vegas. Although his plan at the time was to land more desk analyst gigs, fate (and OpTic Gaming) had something else in mind. Flame is now the General Manager for Houston Outlaws.

IDDQD

“I’ve played with Rogue before, I know what they’re packing ;)” (Mar 16)
IDDQD’s best tournament results were in 2016, when he was a member of fnatic. With them, he reached the semifinals of both the Atlantic Showdown and the Overwatch Open. He was also the captain of Team Sweden in the Overwatch World Cup that year. When we spoke to IDDQD in early 2017, he was already a member of NRG. He went on to become the only player from NRG to transfer to San Francisco Shock when the former became the latter.

Jake

“Winston was the first hero I ever played” (Mar 31)
Few people have been on more podcasts than Jake, and he’s been on AtW twice. The first time was back in March, when his team had just been signed to Luminosity Gaming as “LG Evil”. As LG Evil, and as Hammers Esports before then, the team had a series of strong showings in the first half of 2017. However, despite qualifying for Contenders Season 0, their 7-8 finish meant they didn’t make it into Season 1, sealing LG Evil’s fate. Jake is now with Houston Outlaws.

Surefour

“Korean Winstons are Master Baiters” (May 5)
One of the biggest names in Overwatch, Surefour was the star of Cloud9 all the way back when they won Agents Rising, a tournament held three days after the game was released. We spoke to him in May, during a lull in high-level competition (TaKeOver 2 would be the following month). He continued on with Cloud9 until the Overwatch League signing period, when he was picked up by Los Angeles Gladiators.

Bishop

“Kaiser will be our Main Tank for Cloud 9….HYPE!” (21 May)
Bishop competed as a player for KongDoo Panthera in OGN APEX Season 1, but transitioned to coaching shortly after their group stage exit. When we caught up with him, he was the coach of Cloud9, who had just signed popular RunAway player Kaiser as their new main tank. When C9 bought into the Overwatch League and became London Spitfire, they signed much of the KongDoo Panthera roster, and Bishop became London’s coach.

xQc

“He had a golden Reinhardt hammer and he said ‘Why did you add me?'” (June 8)
A double-feature, we spoke with xQc and Dahun, then of Yikes!, shortly after their win in the May edition of the Alienware Monthly Melee, and shortly before they rebranded as Arc6. A few weeks later, the team would narrowly miss out on Contenders Season 0. The team disbanded after the BEAT Invitational in July, giving xQc more time to spend on his immensely popular stream. xQc is now with Dallas Fuel.

Cwoosh

“I don’t remember much of the TaKeTV after-party but people tell me it was great” (July 3)
As the title suggests, we spoke with Cwoosh right after the TaKeOver 2 LAN. At the time, Cwoosh was playing for Movistar Riders, a team that never got quite the recognition or publicity that their strong results deserved. Movistar disbanded seven days after this episode of the podcast was published, and Cwoosh went on to join Misfits, making the transition to main tank in the process. Misfits became the Florida Mayhem, bringing Cwoosh into the League.

LegitRC

“Mini” Doomfist Episode (July 12)
Unlike most episodes of Around the Watch, this wasn’t actually an interview. Instead, the hosts decided to dedicate an episode to the newly released hero Doomfist, and we were lucky enough to have LegitRC and Noukky stop on by to share their thoughts as well. LegitRC is best known as a coach of Selfless. He, along with Selfless’s founder Brad (and AtW co-host Harsha) are now with San Francisco Shock.

Ookz and Josh Kim

“Korean KBBQ vs LA KBBQ, it isn’t even a question” (July 14)
Ookz was the head coach of Immortals, and Josh Kim the team’s manager, when we spoke with them in mid-July. The news had just broke that Immortals would be representing Los Angeles in the Overwatch League, making this the first podcast with confirmed members of an OWL team. Although we didn’t know the name at the time, Immortals is now Los Angeles Valiant.

Coolmatt69, Rawkus, Jake, Sinatraa, and Kyky

“If you can’t call your teammates a bitch, you can’t win a tournament” (Aug 17)
We had the entire USA World Cup team on, right after they qualified for the finals at BlizzCon (including Adam and FCTFCTN, who sadly aren’t in the League yet). The team’s chemistry really shined through in the episode, one of the most joke-filled we’ve had. Rawkus, Jake, and Coolmatt69 are now on Houston Outlaws, Sinatraa is on San Francisco Shock, and Kyky coaches Dallas Fuel.

Coolmatt69, Bani, Boink, Clockwork, and Muma

“Everyone expects Mercy to get nerfed so there’s no reason to scrim live” (Sept 30)
Yes, you’re reading that right, Coolmatt69 was back just five episodes later, this time along with the rest of FNRGFE. The team had just finished qualifying for the LAN finals of Contenders Season 1. At the time, Coolmatt69 and Muma were rumored to have been picked up by Houston Outlaws. We didn’t know it then, but all five players would go on to be picked up by the team in black and neon green.

Super and Sleepy

“DhaK said he would cook for us” (Oct 7)
Shortly after they were announced as players for San Francisco Shock, Around the Watch snagged an interview with super and Sleepy. Super, who will be sitting out the first few months due to age, was well known from his time on Hammers Esports/Luminosity Gaming Evil. Sleepy, on the other hand, was virtually unknown before his singing. He had a stint with Tempo Storm early in 2017.

LiNkzr and Big00se

“We were peaceful people, we just farmed and collected stuff in the woods” (Oct 14)
We spoke with three members of the Finnish team Gigantti right after their Contenders Season 1 win: LiNkzr, BigG00se, and Davin. Although Gigantii arose from the ashes of Ninjas in Pyjamas, none of them were on the original NiP team; LiNkzr was previously best known for his time on Dignitas, BigG00se from Alfa Squad, and Davin from Cyclones. LiNkzr is now on Houston Outlaws, BigG00se on Los Angeles Gladiators, and Davin isn’t in the League yet.

Custa

“The Dallas Fuel roster is essentially meta-proof” (Nov 11)
When we interviewed Custa, he had just been announced as eighth player for Dallas Fuel (behind the original EnVyUs six and Seagull). Custa was a member of the old fnatic roster that competed in the Overwatch Open and OGN APEX Season 2, but flew under the radar in the months since fnatic disbanded. We spoke to him about his trail process, and got his thoughts on the BlizzCon announcements: Moira and Blizzardworld.

BEARHANDS

“I really want to play against Houston to settle community rankings debates” (Nov 20)
Before becoming the general manager for New York Excelsior, BEARHANDS was a Blizzard employee, working on tournament format, and serving as a liaison between Overwatch’s esports and development teams. We picked BEADHANDS’ mind about NYXL’s selection process, branding, and vision for the future.

Brad, LegitRC, and Harsha

“We get 20 texts a day from Danteh asking like ‘How do I brush my teeth?'” (Dec 3)
In what may be the last ever episode of Around the Watch (although we all hope that’s not the case), we spoke with Brad, LegitRC, and our very own Harsha, now a member of San Francisco Shock. Brad was a co-founder and co-coach of Selfless before folding the organization and moving to Shock. LegitRC, also a co-coach of Selfless, followed Brad to San Fran, and Harsha was “officially” announced right before the podcast.

Interviews Overwatch League