Fnatic Removes Smooya From Active CS:GO Roster Ahead of Major Qualifiers
Fnatic has decided to switch its AWPer before the PGL Major Antwerp qualifiers.
Fnatic has opted to undergo a last-minute change in its lineup ahead of the CS:GO Major roster lock. The European organization has taken a decision to remove Owen "smooya" Butterfield from its active lineup and instead replace him with Iulian "regali" Harjău.
The decision comes just a few days after Fnatic claimed a 9th-12th finish at IEM Katowice 2022, following a '2-1' defeat against Astralis in the lower bracket of Group-B.
Despite enjoying a great start with Fnatic last year, smooya, has not been able to replicate the same results this season. His performance has been inconsistent, as he fails to make an impact in-game.
With the qualifiers for PGL CS:GO Major Antwerp 2022 right around the corner, Fnatic has taken an early decision to swap him with the 19-year-old AWPer, regali, who makes his way over from Fnatic Rising.
Fnatic swaps their AWPer ahead of the qualifiers for PGL Major Antwerp 2022
Fnatic is leaving no stone unturned in its preparations for the upcoming RMR (Regional Major Rankings) Tournament, which will be acting as the qualifiers for PGL Major Antwerp 2022.
As they are not one of the directly invited European teams, Fnatic will have to make its way through one of the four open qualifiers, set to take place between 22nd February and 6th March. It should not be a tall task for Fnatic to secure one of the 19 slots available for making it through to the LAN qualifiers - Europe RMR A or Europe RMR B.
To ensure that they are in top shape for the upcoming CS:GO Major qualifiers, Fnatic has taken a decision to bench smooya and replace him with the talented Romanian marksman, regali, who has finally graduated from the organization's academy team, Fnatic Rising.
This will be the first time that regali will be playing as part of a top CS:GO team. He will be stepping up and taking on responsibilities ahead of the most crucial qualifiers that the team has played so far in the competitive season.
Andreas Samuelsson - Team Director of Fnatic CS:GO, came forward to say that the organization took a decision to bench smooya as they believe that "he is currently not the right fit for our main CS:GO roster".
As for regali, the young AWPer has been promoted based on his performance since July last year with Fnatic Rising, which has managed to impressed many in the organization.
Following this announcement, smooya came forward to express his disappointment while also thanking the organization for taking a chance on him. He further gave a shoutout to tier two and tier three teams looking for a player, while also promising to stream regularly until another opportunity comes his way.
With a new AWPer coming in to fill a substantial gap within the team, right before the Major qualifiers, it will be interesting to see how well Fnatic can come together and can they make it all the way till the PGL Major Antwerp.
Subscribe to AFK Gaming's Newsletter
Get a weekly recap of all the latest developments in the global esports industry with our esports business insights newsletter: AFK Weekly
Subscribe for free to receive insights, analysis and opinions on the biggest developments in esports business, provided by our team of experienced journalists in collaboration with thought leaders across the industry.