fnatic bench smooya after IEM Katowice elimination

DreamHack

Fnatic have confirmed that they have moved CS:GO AWPer Owen ‘smooya’ Butterfield to the bench following the team’s elimination from IEM Katowice.

The news, first reported by Dexerto, comes just days after fnatic were sent packing at IEM Katowice in 9th-12th place following defeats to FaZe and Astralis in the group stage of the tournament.

Smooya has been in fnatic’s ranks since October, when he joined the team as a replacement for Jack ‘⁠Jackinho⁠’ Ström Mattsson, initially on a three-month trial.

CSGO KRIMZ Valve VAC BanValve
Fnatic were unable to reach the IEM Katowice playoffs

He made an impressive start to life with Fnatic, averaging a 1.22 HLTV rating in his first two months on the team. Since the turn of the year, however, that has dipped to 1.01, with his Impact also dropping from 1.20 to a staggering 0.92. In an interview with HLTV.org prior to the group stage of IEM Katowice, smooya admitted that he was going through a slump in form and that his confidence had taken a hit.

In a statement, team director Andreas Samuelsson explained that smooya is “not the right fit for our main CS:GO roster” and that the British AWPer can now “explore his options within the game”.

According to sources, the decision to replace smooya was made even before the team’s elimination from IEM Katowice. Fnatic have reached out to prospective new AWPers, though they stated that academy member Lulian ‘regali’ Harjău will be playing for the main team. It’s unclear if this is a permanent solution or a band-aid until a new player is signed.

Fnatic will have to take part in the open qualifiers to qualify for one of the two PGL Major Antwerp European RMRs. The qualifying process will run between February 22 and March 6, with 19 spots on the line (nine in Europe RMR A, ten in Europe RMR B). Next month, Fnatic are also slated to compete in ESL Pro League Season 15, which will be held in Malta.

Fnatic CS:GO roster:

  • Freddy ‘⁠KRIMZ’ Johansson
  • Ludvig ‘Brollan⁠’ Brolin
  • Alex ‘⁠ALEX’ McMeekin
  • William ‘⁠mezii’ Merriman
  • Iulian ‘regali⁠’ Harjău
  • Jamie ‘⁠keita’ Hall (coach)
  • Owen ‘⁠smooya’ Butterfield (benched)
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