Gob b retires, smooya and nex return in BIG roster change

By Steven Rondina


Aug 2, 2019

Reading time: 2 min

BIG won’t be playing in their backyard this August and they are making some significant changes as a result.

Following the team’s failure to qualify for the StarLadder Berlin Major, BIG has revealed their new lineup for the fall. Denis “denis” Howell has been removed from the active lineup while Fatih “gob b” Dayik is retiring from competition to take on a management role. BIG will fill those holes by returning Owen “smooya” Butterfield and Johannes “nex” Maget to the active roster.

Gob b has been one of BIG’s most recognizable players since the organization’s inception, joining the inaugural lineup alongside Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz and Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić after splitting from NRG Esports. He entered the team as one of Counter-Strike’s most seasoned players, with a competitive career that dated back over a decade and included four runs with Mousesports on both their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Counter-Strike 1.6 rosters. He helped establish BIG as a force in the European region, competing at four majors and placing in the top eight in two of them.

Denis’ run with BIG was much shorter. Denis joined the team in May after splitting from Sprout, joining after Nex was benched due to health issues. That run did not go well for either party, with BIG posting disappointing performances at a number of events including ESL One: Cologne 2019 and ESL Pro League Season 9. The final straw came at the Berlin Major’s Europe Minor Championship, which saw BIG eliminated from the group stage.

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The team is hoping the return of two of the players that helped it reach the Champions Stage of the FACEIT Major: London 2018 will do the trick.

Smooya stepped down from BIG’s roster in February due to a difference in style with his teammates. Though the organization suggested it was looking to trade him, he remained on BIG’s bench for months. He was replaced by Nex, who was then forced out of the active lineup in 2018 after undergoing wrist surgery and again returned to the bench once again in May.

Though Nex has technically been reactivated, he will not immediately return to competition. Team coach LEGIJA will act as a substitute for the time being.

BIG is currently set to compete in the GG.Bet New York Invitational, which begins August 3.