According to sources familiar with the organization, Movistar Riders will make an announcement that their UK AWPer Owen ‘Smooya’ Butterfield will be moved to the bench as they rebuild their roster with all Spanish players.
The move will come as something of a shock as many regard Butterfield as the star player on the roster, something validated by his statistics during his time on the team.
Butterfield himself seemed to hint at the decision in a recent live stream when he said “soon you will see five Spanish flags” in Spanish.
The roster was already down to three starting players after they ended the contract of Kristjan ‘Shokz’ Jakobson and benched their Brazilian in-game leader Lucas ‘steel’ Lopes at the end of July this year.
The organization said these moves were made based on a “bad streak” of results. The team had finished just 11th-12th in ESEA Premier but had qualified for BLAST Premier Showdown through the Iberian regional qualifier.
Butterfield had been a stand-out player since joining the roster at the start of February but even his performances hadn’t been able to push the team up in the European rankings. His six-month spell was a period of relative stability for what has been a turbulent and unfortunate career since leaving the German-based team BIG in 2019.
His time with the US-based organization Chaos was cut short due to visa and travel issues at the start of the global pandemic. After a six-month period without a club, he joined the European team c0ntact, but that iteration of the roster was a makeshift one while the organization was winding down its operations.
In the past, Butterfield has stated that if he doesn’t receive any offers worth pursuing he would make the transition to Riot Games FPS title Valorant, however, he has made no secret of his preference to remain in Counter-Strike.
While the player is still under contract and will be on the bench at the organization, our sources informed Dexerto that the org will listen to all offers and that any buyout would be a nominal fee.
In regards to Movistar Riders, the three players purported to be joining to fill out the roster will be David ‘Dav1g’ Granado Bermudo, Raúl ‘DeathZz’ Jordán Nieto, and Alvaro ‘SunPayus’ Garcia who all join from the Iberian Family roster. That team had actually beaten Movistar Riders in the group stages of the Iberian BLAST Premier Qualifier but were not able to qualify.
We approached Butterfield who declined to make an official comment.