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  1. Esports

Esports: fnatic bench smooya

fnatic have confirmed the benching of Owen "smooya" Butterfield, with the news coming off the back of a disappointing 9-12th finish at IEM Katowice.

The 22-year-old has been removed from the active roster after just four months in the starting line-up, with fnatic currently 3/1 to win the LEC Spring event.

Smart beginnings

Initially joining on a trial basis, smooya created a good enough impression to join the roster full time after some strong results in early events.

That impression did not last, however, as the AWPer's form dipped significantly in 2022, and fnatic have taken the decision to bench him with the qualifiers for PGL Antwerp Major looming.

In their announcement, fnatic said: "Team management wants to put on record their thanks for smooya's commitment to our CS:GO strategy and will continue to support him with the next steps in his career as he drops to our inactive roster."

fnatic's team director Andreas "⁠Samuelsson⁠" Samuelsson said: "We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and amazing plays smooya put into our Katowice run but we have come to the conclusion that he is currently not the right fit for our main CS:GO roster."

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Replacment lined up

smooya will be replaced by Lulian "⁠regali⁠" Harjău, who moves from fnatic's academy team, fnatic Rising, to take up the AWP role.

The news will come as a huge blow for smooya, as penalties are administered to teams who change their rosters after the roster lock for the RMR circuit, which will make finding a new home tougher.

fnatic will next be in action at ESL Pro League Season 15, where regali will be faced with a baptism of fire against the likes of Ninjas In Pyjamas, G2 and mouz.

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