It looks like we won’t be seeing pro Counter-Strike player Owen “smooya” Butterfield in FPL matches any time soon.
The British teen was banned by FaceIt for telling another top player, Ismail “Refrezh” Ali, to “kill himself” following a match on the platform.
Smooya suspected that Ali had purposefully thrown the match and was frustrated with the possible situation. His response to it, however, was dramatically over the line.
Smooya benched himself from BIG’s starting roster in February just days before IEM Katowice. He then stood in for Denial Esports during the IEM Sydney qualifiers. In a Twitlonger explaining his decision to step down, smooya detailed a desire to move to the North American region to better focus on his game. Such a move would also likely allow smooya to play with an English-language team after having spent considerable team with Germany’s BIG.
His ban will likely be temporary, allowing smooya to return to FPL play down the line. Still, with the combination of his ban and his stepping down from his squad so close to the major, it may be awhile before fans next see smooya on so public a platform.
In the controversy’s aftermath, smooya and Refrezh do seem to have smoothed the situation over. The young Brit took to Twitter to assure fans that the two had patched things up.
According to BIG’s head of CS:GO, the reason for smooya’s “mutual benching” was “differences in playstyle.”
Smooya may have trouble catching on with his next team following this public gaffe and the murky circumstances surrounding his leaving BIG, but talented young players like smooya tend to find their way back into competitive rosters given enough time.