Fnatic top laner Bwipo admitted to a huge offer to move to North America after the 2018 World Championships on League of Legends talk show Summoning Insight. According to Bwipo, he was offered $2.4 million for a 2-year deal with 100 Thieves.
The reveal raised a number of eyebrows in the League of Legends community - not least because 100T’s top laner was and continues to be Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho, one of the most highly regarded top laners in the world. It would have been a bold move to switch out such a highly touted import for another, even if 100T didn’t manage to achieve the results they were looking for with Ssumday in 2018.
(Picture: Inven Global)
Bwipo ended up turning down the offer, explaining that after Fnatic and Europe had reached the World Finals after years of falling short, the thought of leaving such a competitive team and region was not an option he was willing to consider.
Bwipo’s disclosure has added extra context to a number of off-season rumours and roster moves. Foremost among them is Barney “Alphari” Morris’ alleged signing with Team Liquid, alongside a stacked roster of Santorin, Jensen, Tactical and CoreJJ.
- Read more: Alphari in talks to move to Team Liquid
Alphari’s deal of over $1 million a year is one of the highest profile moves of the off-season thus far, but does come with a very different context than Bwipo’s “what-if” move of 2018. Where Bwipo’s move to 100T wouldn’t necessarily have earned him more domestic or international success compared to staying with Fnatic, the opposite is a real possibility for Alphari.
Alphari's has joined an already stellar Team Liquid line-up. (Picture: Riot Games)
Indeed, on the same SI episode all three of Bwipo, Duncan “Thorin” Shields, and Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles noted that the alleged Team Liquid roster would be a giant in the LCS, and have a very real chance of good international runs - a little good fortune pending, of course. Contrast that to the LEC, which has been dominated across its history by Fnatic and G2 Esports.
If Alphari saw more opportunity for competitive success outside of Europe alongside an impressive pay-check, especially in comparison to potential offers from within EU, who can fault his decision?