Nick J. August 21, 2020
Owen "smooya" Butterfield announced to viewers that he was set to join North's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster prior to a regional matchup between Ninjas in Pyjamas and his former team BIG Clan at ESL One Cologne.
While BIG would go on to lose a close best-of-three against a young NiP side, smooya revealed that he's still entertaining offers from some of CSGO's top teams. When ESL hosts Hugo "Hugo" Byron, Frankie Ward, and Harry "JustHarry" Russell pushed smooya to let viewers in on his future in the competitive CSGO scene, smooya generously announced that he had been set to join North after the Danish team parted ways with Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye earlier this summer.
smooya open for offers from CSGO teams "for free"
smooya has had a rocky few years, first benching himself from BIG's active roster over not being handed the team's main AWP role. He bounced from BIG's lineup to its bench multiple times before the German organization let him go. Early in 2020, smooya found himself in North America with Chaos Esports' roster before a mixture of visa issues and rumored interpersonal issues saw the AWPer return to Britain.
The player had initially hinted at the deal through a series of tweets that led analysts to predict that a signing was incoming, but smooya revealed that the deal "fell through." It turns out that North decided to go in a different direction with the Danish CSGO team adding NiP's former in-game leader Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson to its roster just days before smooya's public reveal during his ESL One Cologne guest appearance.
Stats bear out smooya's proficiency with the AWP, meaning that organizations have avoided signing the once-rising star for other reasons. At 22 years of age, smooya has maintained an average 1.19 rating alongside a solid, but not particularly astounding, kill-to-death ratio over the span of his career. smooya has also performed much better against teams outside the world's top ten. In matchups involving the world's best CSGO teams, smooya's overall rating slips to a middling 0.97.
With the young AWPer's tendencies to engage with his fans on Twitter, smooya will probably let them know when and if he inks a deal before anyone else. But for those thinking CSGO might see another young talent ditch the realistic first-person shooter for Riot's Valorant, smooya says he'll pass.