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.
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.