Fnatic has signed Owen “smooya” Butterfield on a three-month trial, the organization announced today.
The British AWPer stood in for Fnatic in the IEM Winter Europe open qualifier last weekend and helped them beat GamerLegion, K23, and Galaxy Racer. Smooya was under contract with Movistar Riders until this morning, so Fnatic got to sign him without paying a buyout. The international CS:GO team also played an official match with academy player Iulian “regali” Harjău but ended up deciding on giving smooya a shot.
Smooya’s arrival means that Fnatic has a British core for the first time in the organization’s history in Counter-Strike, even though Fnatic is based in the U.K. The organization moved away from its longtime all-Swedish lineup during the summer player break when it signed the Brits Alex McMeekin and Willian “mezii” Merriman as part of its roster rebuild.
“I’ve been waiting for a chance like this for years and I think now is the perfect time for this to happen,” smooya said in a TwitLonger. The British AWPer has always been talented, but his personality caused him to miss out on opportunities on tier-one teams over the last few years.
“This is a situation that I never thought I would see myself in because of my past mistakes throughout my career but all I can say is thank you to Samuelsson [Fnatic’s manager] for believing in me so much by putting his own reputation on the line to secure this move,” smooya said. “I’m joining with a very open mindset and reasonable expectations for myself and the team, here to work hard every day not only in-game but to develop myself as a person too.”
Smooya’s official debut with Fnatic will be in the IEM Winter Europe closed qualifier, which is slated to take place between Oct. 18 to 19. The British-Swedish lineup will be fighting against the likes of MOUZ, Team Spirit, Complexity, ENCE, and FunPlus Phoenix for one of the three spots in the main event.