smooya loaned out to Renegades for ESL Pro League Americas; jkaem in doubt
The British player will play for the Australian side in the first stage of the league, scheduled for this weekend, in place of Sean "Gratisfaction" Kaiwai, who has been ruled out due to visa issues.
smooya has been on BIG's bench since February, when he stepped down from the roster to make way for Johannes "nex" Maget. In an interview with HLTV.org, he admitted that he was no longer enjoying himself in the team and that he felt he had stopped improving in his role.
The loss of Gratisfaction comes as a heavy blow for the Australian team, who broke into the top five in the rankings for the first time in the organisation's history on Monday after reaching the semi-finals at StarSeries i-League Season 7.
Gratisfaction has been on Renegades' books since October, when he was signed from Grayhound. He has averaged a 1.01 rating on LAN with the team, who have reached the playoffs at every Big Event they have attended in 2019.
Renegades have been drawn in Group A of the ESL Pro League Season 9 Americas, along with eUnited, INTZ and NRG. The group winner will automatically progress to the season finals, while the runner-up and the third-placed team will move on to a second group stage.
This means that Renegades will attend the event with the following roster:
UPDATE: Renegades have announced that jkaem is currently in doubt for the event as he is waiting for his new passport to be issued. In case he cannot attend the event, the Australian team will be fielding a second stand-in, former CLG and Envy member Stephen "reltuC" Cutler.
Update: we will be loaning @smooyacs to @Renegades for the duration of the #ESLProLeague group stage, due to @GratisfactionNZ experiencing visa issues. We wish Owen the best of luck in his return to competitive play! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/8yDYwu3UGC— BIG (@BIGCLANgg) April 9, 2019