smooya: "[Why bench myself ahead of a Major?] That's how much I've not been enjoying myself"

We reached out to Owen "smooya" Butterfield following his unexpected step-down from BIG to hear more about the decision and the reasoning behind it.

The announcement of the British player assuming a place on BIG's bench and Johannes "nex" Maget making an early return came as a surprise to many, especially with the IEM Katowice Major around the corner. However, statements from BIG and smooya's own one shone some light on the case.

smooya is next goal is to qualify for the Major through the Americas Minor

In our interview with smooya, the 19-year-old further explained that he was labeled as "better with a rifle than an AWP" early on in the team, which resulted in him not playing the "main AWP role". Unhappy with being just a role player in the squad, smooya is looking toward a move to North America, where he would go back to playing the sniper full time.

You have hinted at the possibility of leaving BIG multiple times in the past, and there were rumors about it published by some news sites. How close were you close to leaving the team previously?

I was close to leaving before the first Major, it was my inner child just wanting everything instantly so I had many conversations with the management and myself actually. I decided to stay because I was enjoying the company and the environment of the team. I also noticed improvements every day which was another reason behind staying.

In the official statement about the benching, you said: "I've never really had the MAIN AWP role since being here". How come that was the case? Can you explain that team dynamic that led to tabseN picking up the sniper over you more and more towards the end of your stay in BIG?

During my first few weeks in BIG I wasn't performing in practice how they liked and I kind of got labeled as better with my rifle than my AWP which I still don't fully agree with. So for the benefit for the team I just listened and played. It hurt my ego a lot, but it was something I had to learn to do and for that I can't thank them enough. They taught me the hardest part of the game to learn which is being a good teammate and how to support them to be better.

According to BIG's announcement, there was an issue with the in-game environment in the team. luckeRRR, who you replaced on the team, put out a statement in which he mentioned that his teammates were overly critical to his mistakes, or approached that criticism in a way that didn't feel right to him. Did you have a similar experience in BIG?

I can agree with that only when I first joined the team because it got to the point where I said you have to stop speaking in that way, that was myself with them and them with me. So we had a few team talks about it and it got fixed pretty quickly. For myself, I was just never confident in my plays, I really couldn’t say why but that's just life.

LEGIJA also mentioned a difference in opinions in terms of team development. What was the issue there?

Not too sure, I think its just down to us not really improving over the past few weeks/month because I’ve been pretty down with how I've been playing and it's affected the team. I tried to fix it but I just simply wasn't happy on top of having the feeling that they wanted me gone for some time—because I let some of the teammates down on a personal level by being on my phone during practice and stupid reasons like that. Which was completely my bad and I've apologized many times to them for that, and thanked them since it helped me a lot.

The Brit wasn't happy with his role in BIG

You have decided to bench yourself ahead of a Major, meaning you will be missing out on one of the biggest events of the year. Why not stick around until the Major cycle is finished and look for a new team after it, when the majority of the roster moves happen?

The simple answer is: that's how much I've not been enjoying myself. I was happy with what we've achieved and didn't feel myself improving in my role anymore, which wasn't the AWP role. So since I’m not the type of person to hold a team back I told them I'd be interested [to step down] but only if they can get nex back for the Major and they happily agreed. He has been watching practices and watching demos daily since his departure so I'm more than sure he will be the best fit for them at this event.

From the two statements (BIG and twitlonger), I get the feeling that you are not someone who is happy with just being an average, or below-average player, in a good team—you want to give your personal best, be the star, and leave a mark in that way. Is that a part of what motivated you for this move?

Yes, completely. This isn't the way I learned the game. I want to be the confident playmaker and be the difference maker in the game, which, don’t get me wrong, I was even in my role here at BIG. But it's more of a personal thing. I'm honored to have had lessons daily from the BIG players on how to improve in specific situations and such, and the way they approach the game will always stick with me.

Moving to NA is your desire, why? Is there something specific that attracts you to North America or do you not see a team in Europe in which you would fit?

Well, for now, there aren't many EU teams that could use an English speaking AWPer. There is basically only mousesports, HellRaisers and FaZe. I don't think I'm anywhere nearly ready for any of those teams. I've proven myself at times but not consistently enough so my plan is to qualify for the Major through the Americas Minor of whichever team I end up joining. There are many other personal reasons as well.

If you get free reigns as an AWPer, take it on full time, and have a team which fits you—what kind of style would you want to play?

The same style I’ve always had. Overconfident and aggressive. But, thankfully, now I've had my stint with BIG, I understand on a way higher level how to balance it and how to balance it which again I’m very appreciative for.

What are you going to do in the meantime?

I will wait till the Major is over and see what offers come up. Also, I will continue to play FPL and try and get back to my individual level before my career kicks off again. Maybe stand in for some teams during qualifiers to still have a feeling for the team aspect of the game!

United Kingdom Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Germany Johannes 'nex' Maget
Johannes 'nex' Maget
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Turkey darknight53 
2019-02-02 18:10
I feel like Astralis lol
2019-02-04 06:39
Russia hahatun74 
2019-02-02 18:10
United Kingdom Kansur 
2019-02-02 18:10
Fuck Big
2019-02-02 18:10
Denmark NikolaiBC 
You like fucking Big?
2019-02-02 22:45
United Kingdom H3nryG 
Big booty
2019-02-03 17:07
Bot smooya
2019-02-02 18:11
2019-02-02 18:11
Sweden Akoulad 
cry baby
2019-02-02 18:11
Denmark VeryDanishGuy 
"There is basically only mousesports, HellRaisers and FaZe. I don't think I'm anywhere nearly ready for any of those teams" Respect.
2019-02-02 18:11
United States codgun 
Imagine listing HellRaisers as a top EU team.
2019-02-02 18:21
name an international EU squad better ranked than HellRaisers excluding those he already mentioned
2019-02-02 18:44
United States flyflit 
got him
2019-02-02 18:57
Malta SS_ArT 
Well done shutting him up
2019-02-02 20:03
North America TheReelMVP 
2019-02-02 21:46
2019-02-03 00:40
cloud9 with golden
2019-02-03 07:06
Jesus Christ guys is it really that fucking hard... come on now
2019-02-03 09:44
Vitality>HellRaisers I know at a recent event Vitality beat HellRaisers in the grand final.
2019-02-11 23:35
0/8 but even so vitality isn't international
2019-02-12 02:37
Netherlands glennakiN 
2019-02-03 15:01
-ottoNd +smooya and valiance tier1 team :)
2019-02-02 18:28
Other Phinks 
Could be interesting yeah. But he is so fucking Immature
2019-02-02 18:55
Espiranto is, too. Perfect match. :>
2019-02-02 21:20
Other Phinks 
Hahah team will die in 2 months
2019-02-02 22:07
Hahahha nice try t1 team in 2 months
2019-02-06 09:26
Austria ArmendZTC 
FeelsBad imo
2019-02-02 18:11
Bug clan
2019-02-02 18:12
No masturbating in BIG confirmed
2019-02-02 18:12
2019-02-02 18:16
2019-02-02 18:18
"i benched myself" cant believe kids believe this PR shit
2019-02-02 18:13
2019-02-02 22:40
typical german drama
2019-02-02 18:14
Any1 summarize ?
2019-02-02 18:14
the rat king shalt rise when the second moon appears
2019-02-02 18:15
Rat king XD
2019-02-02 18:19
2019-02-02 18:20
Czech Republic fabZeef 
when most toxic pro is crybaby LUL
2019-02-02 18:15
are u mad?
2019-02-02 18:17
why would he be ? smooya is a BIG joke
2019-02-02 18:47
Czech Republic fabZeef 
no why should i be mad? its always nice to see toxic guys crying like babies
2019-02-02 18:53
2019-02-02 20:02
Good luck Smooya
2019-02-02 18:15
He just ruined his career what a dumbass guy.
2019-02-02 18:15
United Kingdom INGEMARSSON_ 
How do you figure that one, donkey?
2019-02-02 18:22
2019-02-02 18:25
You think he is gonna be signed by a tier 1 team? Deluded brit.
2019-02-03 05:56
he could get signed by EnVyUs, so they have 4 main AWPs
2019-02-03 12:29
United Kingdom INGEMARSSON_ 
Weird that, I don't remember saying that... Deluded reject Brit.
2019-02-03 20:47
what a legend
2019-02-02 18:21
Panama Cyain10 
Rat master
2019-02-02 18:23
Hong Kong GoGirlAbbie 
for such a cocky player he is very emo lol
2019-02-02 18:24
haha bench myself.. who normal will leave team by himself before major xD he was kicked/benched, nice PR btw
2019-02-02 18:25
toxic germans have done it again. first with luckeRRR now with smooya, they just cant put out good criticism... have to be some kind of bad tone or something
2019-02-02 18:29
Zeus | 
Finland Olter 
i think he just forgot that there was major coming up soon low iq. But i kind of feel bad for him
2019-02-02 18:33
I guess he felt that they would be better off at the major with nex playing
2019-02-02 22:53
Europe Skraj 
At least he acknowledges that he's immature, bad, cocky and what not 👌
2019-02-02 18:33
GL Smoo Dont be too harsh to yourself man.
2019-02-02 18:33
2019-02-03 22:54
ZywOo | 
Asia 7RU7H 
such a diva...
2019-02-02 18:33
"smooya is next goal is to qualify for the Major through the Americas Minor" i think that there is a small mistake, chief
2019-02-02 18:35
Poland Kobel_ 
I believe he's talking about the next Major, the one after Kato
2019-02-03 00:25
I meant mistake in grammatical sense. Factually its correct.
2019-02-03 13:45
Poland Kobel_ 
Oh right, I didn't even notice that "is"
2019-02-03 13:59
This was a refreshing interview. No beating around the bush and he seemed honest about himself and the team It also reveals some of why people respect gob b as a leader and how he runs his team I think whatever team he lands on will be worse than big, but if thats his desire then so be it
2019-02-02 18:36
+ 2
2019-02-02 23:31
hahahahhaha emo shit kid
2019-02-02 18:36
C9 Main AWPer smooya.
2019-02-02 18:37
Brazil ragemasterBR 
Replacing who? Autimatic has some teamplay with Rush, Kio? I don't think so
2019-02-02 20:39
Zellsis maybe, I think autimatic fits more on rifles.
2019-02-02 20:54
Brazil ragemasterBR 
Poor zelsis but i agree
2019-02-02 21:00
United States Samsquanch_ 
Auti legit dismantles faze by himself on mirage. I aren’t think you’re a great judge of who should be awp. C9 is fine how they are; zellsis for ct, AUTI for T, ducking Christ you bunch of savages, give the kid 3 solid events before you start talking replacement, he wasn’t even that much of a handicap. SMOOYA is a fucking cancer; this is why the other guys on big shit talked him..they’re veterans, he’s just a bitch boy little scrub with an egocentric defense mechanism. He’s fucking annoying, toxic, and tbh, he’s really not even THAT good. He gets hype for being the only Brit doin it right now, and props, but this kid needs to go to humility camp FAST.
2019-02-03 00:36
World Jeza 
Surprisingly reflective interview from smooya tbh. I think he was underperforming in BIG somewhat, and it's true he is much better as a main AWP. But BIG were also correct that Tabsen was probably a better main AWP for the team, so -smooya +nex is probably better for both. Assuming he can actually find a half-decent new team ofc.
2019-02-02 18:37
Gotta love his interviews. GL smoooooyaaaa
2019-02-02 18:42
nice xaxaxaxa
2019-02-02 18:52
Turkey xxxjet3 
It was exciting to watch him plays and reactions after a win or critical round i wish him best hope it would work for Big
2019-02-02 18:56
Brazil hugoooo 
Such a dumb person
2019-02-02 18:57
Tbh he could be best fit for C9 and auti back to rifel and secondry AWPer
2019-02-02 18:58
France StickyRice 
Moving to NA is your desire, why? Is there something specific that attracts you to North America or do you not see a team in Europe in which you would fit? "Well, for now, there aren't many EU teams that could use an English speaking AWPer. There is basically only mousesports, HellRaisers and FaZe. I don't think I'm anywhere nearly ready for any of those teams. I've proven myself at times but not consistently enough so my plan is to qualify for the Major through the Americas Minor of whichever team I end up joining. There are many other personal reasons as well." BIG > HR
2019-02-02 19:04
shox | 
India iejesus 
2019-02-02 19:07
Hahahahahhahahahaha He thinks he was a "playmaker" in BIG. I guess he was while sitting in the bottom of the scoreboard
2019-02-02 19:08
Poland Kleigen 
okay gtfo
2019-02-02 19:22
Anyone who believes that he benched himself voluntarily is delusional. He was being replaced one way or anyone, this way he at least saves some embarrassment publicly. It's like going through a "mutual" breakup and being able to say he was the one who ended the relationship.
2019-02-02 19:26
You can take a player out of the UK scene, but you can't take UK scene ouf of a player.
2019-02-02 19:29
rain | 
Slovakia TrYx_ 
Toxic germans
2019-02-02 19:37
Can smooya cut all the BS and just play ffs?
2019-02-02 19:38
France Azowel 
smooya > BIG go fuck yourself BIG
2019-02-02 19:52
WHY BENCH MYSELF AHEAD OF A MAJOR? because BIG benched him !!! not him self.... i would like to see smooya in Valiance -botonnd
2019-02-02 20:01
Mongolia Sythapilla 
bot > smooya nt
2019-02-03 05:14
Brazil cadik 
Excuses that he isn't kicked but do it by himself Lmao Expected from UK
2019-02-02 20:10
before the event, smooya: when nex comes back gob will quit and become coach, reality nex comes back smooya kicked, they all say benched so big can get more money from selling him
2019-02-02 20:10
not sure where he would fit in NA because all the AWPers are better than him in the top NA teams
2019-02-02 20:11
s1 | 
Ukraine mpletop1 
Please don't let this trash kid ruin C9
2019-02-02 20:13
he wouldn't goto c9, auti is a good awp, and he wants to awp-full time. maybe eunited and himself up? I don't think (besides stewie) liquid has an awper, but no one could really leave team liquid. i doubt auti would go back to rifling, but who would he replace? rush? rush to eunited might be good, but that s a bit of a downgrade for him. idk
2019-02-02 20:26
it is pretty retardfased to make him rifle when obv he is good at firing boom boom guns all the time
2019-02-02 20:25
f0rest | 
Germany Brazzen 
Most overrated player in cs history. Being arrogant while sucking dick so hard
2019-02-02 20:27
nt nex i bet you bench him retard im only joking about retard. but you are nex my friend
2019-02-02 20:28
allu | 
Canada PwnNewb 
lolol he might be inconsistent but he has talent, and if you think he is arrogant than you just don't understand banter. He just has a cheeky sense of humor that must not jive with you
2019-02-02 20:37
Pakistan ostraka 
Europeans are pretty dense mate just drop it, you're wasting your time.
2019-02-02 20:41
allu | 
Canada PwnNewb 
yeah, you think a German would appreciate what smooya did for BIG even if he hasn't been great recently, his performance at major is a big reason they are able to go to this one. And as a BIG fan i'd rather have smooya 100% into the game than nex, but id rather have next 100% into the game than smooya as he is now not into the team and his role...but you are right, some people are dense and some ppl are haters cant change it
2019-02-02 21:37
allu | 
Canada PwnNewb 
Very refreshing to see a player being so open and honest, and choosing what he wants instead of $. We see so many players doing things for just $ it seems, I would NEVER EVER bench myself before the major, I would pracc my ass off and show the world what I could do and THEN look for a new team. I would never do this, but I respect Smooya for following his heart
2019-02-02 20:36
Per0N | 
Venezuela 643 
+1000 his only problem is inconsistency, in and outgame (probably related to his young age). He alternates pure immaturity (the cellphone thing) with full awareness of the team's - and his - struggles
2019-02-03 01:29
Little cry baby
2019-02-02 20:41
Croatia mds818 
tbh idk why people were thinking that smooya is the solution, in some other team maybe but lets be serious... big requires discipline tactical approach etc and smooya said himself that he's agressive player
2019-02-02 20:43
El Salvador Sp1x 
Move doesn't really make sense since they're still going to have to speak English with Xantares, and Nex isn't all that better than Smooya.
2019-02-02 20:58
keev | 
Germany _PH1L 
on a personal lvl its better and skillwise doesnt make a difference (hopefully)
2019-02-02 22:06
Per0N | 
Venezuela 643 
+1 communication plays a huge part in a team like BIG. They should've went for syrson before even trying smooya
2019-02-03 01:24
Denmark blue_sheep 
2019-02-03 12:12
2019-02-02 21:29
thank mr smooya
2019-02-02 21:44
I can agree with that only when I first joined the team because it got to the point where I said you have to stop speaking in that way, that was myself with them and them with me. So we had a few team talks about it german cs lol
2019-02-02 21:45
I like this guy. Wish better luck
2019-02-02 21:57
He should join Rogue
2019-02-02 22:15
from BIG to Denial dafuq?? gl anyway
2019-02-02 22:27
I think he's only standing in for them because they're missing an awper and like he said "Maybe stand in for some teams during qualifiers to still have a feeling for the team aspect of the game!"
2019-02-02 22:59
damn that is still so frustrating... I was hoping to see how BIG would be playing with XANTARES on LAN but now they don't have smooya. BIG loss to both sides
2019-02-02 23:04
HEN1 | 
Palestine S1rEz10 
2019-02-02 22:36
he was having the AWP all the time on T side wtf is he talking about lol
2019-02-02 23:10
2019-02-02 23:38
He's a fucking emo,he's made a retarded decision that he is going to regret. Highlight of his life right here given up because he's a bellend.
2019-02-02 23:48
"Smooya is next goal is to qualify..." noice englindo, HLGVT
2019-02-03 00:00
No one cares somya or whatever
2019-02-03 00:05
Dont believe this shit PR statement. Smooya got benched, plain and simple. He didnt bench himself, who would? Anyway, GL to him, he has potential.
2019-02-03 00:20
Oh do you remember Gobs kick out of mouz? some people have a problem how he lead. Gob has Tabsen on his side the most important player on BIG this is way nobody question him beside people with a big ego
2019-02-03 01:02
So he had no fun to play under very stright orders.
2019-02-03 00:54
Per0N | 
Venezuela 643 
Not exactly. He wants to be the star, aggressive player, but big having tabsen and now xanteres shuts down this possibility
2019-02-03 01:21
gl smooya
2019-02-03 01:00
They can't bench you if you...
2019-02-03 01:30
Norway PeteZz 
He seems to have grown as a person. Definitely has flair and potential as a player. Everybody knew he was never going to stay in BIG forever, that was never to be.
2019-02-03 02:04
at least now there wont be any god-awful smooya chants at the major
2019-02-03 02:35
United States ChrisBrown 
Good luck in your next team
2019-02-03 03:38
NAF | 
Korea kagurafly 
hope some t2/t3 trash team gets this idiot. fuck this guy
2019-02-03 04:45
BIG will make major finals and sub in smooya to EZ 32-0 ASStralis. So fucking smart for GOD SMOOYA
2019-02-03 05:36
Good for him, he was only getting worse since he joined.
2019-02-03 07:36
South Africa AlienzSA 
Smoooooyaa please join Denial xD <3
2019-02-03 09:46
lul toxic kid
2019-02-03 09:58
Hard to enjoy the game when there's a history of bad blood between the Brits and the Nazis
2019-02-03 10:32
he's shit anyway, completely immature.
2019-02-03 13:18
Austria db42 
kinda hypocritical that hes all about not wanting to being talked down for the mistakes hes made but hes been doing that in pugs in fpl ever since LOL
2019-02-03 14:20
Tl;dr: smooya leaves big cuz he cant be waper full time.
2019-02-03 16:42
he has no reason to be as cocky as he is lmao he's pretty bad
2019-02-03 20:04
Faze -guardian +smooya
2019-02-03 20:20
shox | 
Slovakia TreeMan 
It was miracle Tier 2 org gave him a chance and now kid wants to go scream to USA lol! sit the fck down boi, you are not reliable awper.
2019-02-04 00:08
United Kingdom UnwiseOwl 
Smooya mate I love you but you crazy.
2019-02-04 02:13
mental kid, doesnt understand opportunities when given to him.
2019-02-04 07:46
3 words Inmature toxic fuck, glad he is gone from big :))
2019-02-04 14:11
I don't understand this comment blaming smooya as childist... Imagine you are AWP'er forced to use riffle all the time You have more death than kill in every match That's gonna hurt your confidence a lot... I won't play CSGO if my team mates tell me to play with pistol and shootgun only
2019-02-04 14:13
It was not team who forced him lol, its the bosses coaches etc, if they thinks tabsen is better and he is better with rifles then its probably true. Well now should be epic if he joined some great team like main awper and dominate the scene, but it probably wont happens. There was hen1 epic some tournaments, where he is now? Smooya is probably similar....
2019-02-04 14:24
Sometimes, you have to use the rifle because it isn't always the best for the team in order to get an AWP. Using a pistol and shotgun is bad, because that doesn't help the team, but using a rifle does.
2019-02-05 00:56
Turkey maxesz 
Can smooya go c9 ?
2019-02-04 16:26
C9 Smooya?
2019-02-04 17:18
dont get the hate with smooya. just because he leaked shit lmao. the guy is 19 yo and already in a great org like BIG. Its just a matter of time until he finds a good team, he is better than Nifty and jdm im sure. Karrigan could make use of him, matter of fact, apart from Drone EnvyUS could just disband and assemble a new team. karrigan tarik smooya drone +entry
2019-02-04 17:28
lol quitter
2019-02-04 19:09
RpK | 
France KepleR82b 
"He's no more toxic" lol
2019-02-05 01:44
Estonia rYm 
is he gay? so much drama
2019-02-05 15:15
NiKo | 
Poland Jaruzel 
Even BIG wasn't big enough to fit his ego.
2019-02-05 22:41
Russia Tarasov 
2019-02-06 10:02
United States jay_320 
The move is just stupid. He's ruining his career. He has nowhere to go but down in the short term. He better be really good whichever team he ends up on or he'll be lost to history.
2019-02-06 01:16
2019-02-06 15:35
hope someone hits this pog with their car, after what he said Refrezh about. Little thick fuck
2019-02-06 17:07
what did he say lol
2019-02-07 21:41
Germany Vini_1337 
the rat king
2019-02-06 18:44
Netherlands xEKOy 
bye bye rat boy !
2019-02-06 22:20
You are shit with a AWP Not even top 20 in the World
2019-02-07 20:05
smooya stop ur drama pls
2019-02-08 12:03
the last phycho of ukcs
2019-02-09 04:55
Slovakia zephh1337 
2019-02-09 16:13
He comes off as a total wanker
2019-02-11 21:49
hommii | 
Iceland ban1c 
in honor of our fallen hero, lets all gather around the campfire and let out one last: "smoooooooyaaaaaa".....
2019-02-11 22:11
2019-02-11 22:26
2019-02-13 07:20
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