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Fnatic to bench Owen ‘smooya’ Butterfield following IEM Katowice elimination

British professional esports organization Fnatic has moved CS:GO AWPer Owen “smooya” Butterfield to the inactive roster following the team’s elimination from IEM Katowice.

According to a report by Dexerto, Fnatic’s 9th-12th place finish at IEM Katowice has led to the team’s decision to move Smooya out of the main team.

However, multiple reports also suggest that the decision to bench Smooya was made before the team’s elimination from IEM Katowice.

Fnatic’s response

Fnatic has announced the move on Twitter and the team explained that the decision was made in order to move the team’s roster on to better results.

CS:GO Roster Update: With qualification for the Major starting this week and in order to move our CS:GO roster on to better results, we have made the decision to move @smooyacs to the inactive roster,” Fnatic’s tweet reads.

Furthermore, team director Andreas Samuelsson has spoken about the 22-year-old is not the right fit for the team’s main roster.

“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. We think now is the best time to allow Smooya to explore his options within the game,” Samuelsson said.

Additionally, the team director continues to praise Smooya’s contribution to the team over the past months.

“Owen has given his all to Fnatic and contributed greatly to our performances over the past few months. Myself and the entire team wish to thank him for the great memories we have shared and the entertainment he has provided.” Samuelsson added.

Smooya’s response, first time signing for Fnatic, ratings

On his Twitter account, Smooya mentioned the bad news before he started his stream.

“Airports are brutal to receive bad news in, flight leaving now! Stream shortly after I land, see you then.” Smooya’s tweet reads.

Further, Fnatic has also announced academy member Lulian ‘regali’ Harjău is set to play the new AWPer role for the main team. Although, this decision remains unclear whether Regali is in for permanently or until Fnatic finds the right person for the role.

Smooya joined Fnatic under a three-month trial deal replacing Jack “⁠Jackinho⁠” Ström Mattsson in October 2021. He left quite an impression shortly after joining Fnatic. Smooya assisted the team’s victory during the DreamHack Open November, only a month after signing to Fnatic and he averages 1.22 rating by the end of 2021.

However, the team’s performance went downhill not long after that from poor performance in the Funspark ULTI Finals and IEM Katowice with Smooya’s rating decreasing to 1.01 in early 2022 making things worse.

The 22-year-old British sniper has admitted in an interview prior to the IEM Katowice group stage with HLTV.org that, he was going through a slump in form and his confidence has been affected.

Moreover, in order to qualify for one of the two PGL Major Antwerp European RMRs, the team must take part in the open qualifiers. The process is scheduled between February 22 and March 6 this year with 19 spots on the line (nine in Europe RMR A and ten in Europe RMR B). Fnatic is set to compete next month in ESL Pro League Season 15.