Fnatic reportedly benches smooya after elimination from IEM Katowice

Not the ending we expected.

Photo via StarLadder

Fnatic has moved AWPer Owen “smooya” Butterfield to the inactive roster following the CS:GO team’s group stage elimination at IEM Katowice, according to a report by Luís Mira for Dexerto.

The Fnatic roster reached the group stage of IEM Katowice via the play-in bracket, where they defeated Wisla Krakow and BIG. During the group stage, they started their run well with a stunning upset over G2 Esports but fell in consecutive matches to FaZe Clan and Astralis.

But the decision to bench smooya was made before Fnatic even played their final match, according to the report. The organization has reportedly already started reaching out to players to fill the coveted sniper role.

Smooya was signed to a three-month trial deal under Fnatic back in October 2021. He was signed with “extension rights” that the organization has since used to extend his trial for an additional month. His trial signing came just a few months after Fnatic signed two other prominent U.K. players in Alexander “ALEX” McMeekin and William “mezii” Merriman following their departures from Cloud9. These signings represented a huge shift away from solely operating with Swedish players, something Fnatic has done in Counter-Strike for almost a decade.

The first month or so of his trial went well, with standout performances at both the IEM Winter EU qualifier and DreamHack Open November. But he’s struggled since the start of 2022 and admitted in an interview with HLTV prior to the IEM Katowice group stage that his confidence has gone down.

Following the report, smooya hinted at the news on Twitter, indicating that he received it just before getting on his flight. He also replied to an earlier tweet that said he’d make the playoffs of his next event, saying that it “aged like out of date milk.”

Fnatic is expected to announce its new AWPer relatively soon, according to the Dexerto report.