“Fnatic Confirm “smooya” Benching


Spencer Smith, Writer

Owen “smooya” Butterfield has been moved to the bench of fnatic, the organization confirmed on Twitter. The news came after the team’s 9-12th place finish at IEM Katowice 2022, where the British AWPer struggled to find impact in-game. Iulian “regali” Harjau will replace “smooya” from fnatic Rising on the main roster in the AWP role. Butterfield joined the organization back in October on a trial basis, eventually solidifying his role within the roster. However, his recent slump in form has found a basis for his benching by Fnatic, in which the organization has also allowed the Brit to explore other options while on the bench. 

The 22-year-old came into the squad after initially impressing with his performances in online qualifiers. However, his recent slump in performance within the server, alongside the roster locks put into place with the qualifications for the PGL Antwerp Major. Harjau has been an outstanding player for the fnatic Rising roster, where the 19-year-old has been turning heads since July of 2021, when fnatic rekindled their academy project. Over seven months spent competing in WePlay Academy League events and various other lower-tier tournaments, “regali” has accumulated a respectable 1.15 rating. This is the Romanian’s second venture into the senior squad, with the first coming whenever the organization was trialing with replacements for Jack “Jackinho” Strom Mattsson. 

Fnatic stated in their announcement on Twitter: “With qualification for the Major starting this week and in order to move our CS:GO roster on to better and better results, we have made the decision that… smooya will be moved to the inactive roster.” Continuing, the organization also stated: “Team management wants to put on record their thanks for smooya’s commitment to our CS:GO strategy and will continue to support him with the next steps in his career as he drops to our inactive roster.” Finally, “We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and amazing plays smooya put into our Katowice run but we have come to the conclusion that he is currently not the right fit for our main CS:GO roster.” Fnatic now hosts the roster consisting of: Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, William “mezii” Merriman, Iulian “regali” Harjau, Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson, Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin, Jamie “keita” Hall (coach), and Owen “smooya” Butterfield (benched). The organization has stated their decision to let Butterfield explore other options while benched.