Benched Heroes, the mix CS:GO team formed around the former Fnatic and BIG AWPer Owen “smooya” Butterfield, have forfeited their IEM Rio Major Europe Regional Major Ranking (RMR) spot to Polish team Illuminar due to Buğra “Calyx” Arkın and Eugene “Aunkere” Karyat not securing their visas in time.
Benched Heroes had listed Thomas Utting as a substitute, but with two players missing, they can’t play the tournament as per Europe RMR’s rules. Teams can’t start a match with just four players and are not allowed to use an additional substitute. There wasn’t anything Benched Heroes could do but withdraw from the tournament and leave their slot to Illuminar, the next team in succession.
“After qualifying for the biggest event possible with a complete mix to missing out due to something sadly easily preventable crushed is the only word,” smooya said on Twitter. “All I ask is that a team actually gives fear a chance out of all this. He is a legit professional and deserves this the least, hoping for good things for you brother. Thank you for being a great captain and IGL for us.”
Benched Heroes qualified for Europe RMR in the last open qualifier that took place in August after beating Illuminar 2-1 thanks to smooya’s incredible performances on Dust 2 and Nuke. They might not only be the only team to forfeit the tournament after all, though. It’s been reported that Aurora, K23, and 1WIN were having difficulties securing visas after the European Commission tightened the visa processes for Russian Citizens.
ESL will not redo the seeding for Europe RMR B and Illuminar will enter the competition directly in Benched Heroes’ spot. The Polish team will battle against Natus Vincere, MOUZ, Vitality, Heroic, OG, BIG, Outsiders, ENCE, HEET, FAlcons, Sangal, K23, FANTASY, Monte, and SAW for one of eight IEM Rio Major spots from Oct. 4 to 9.