smooya: "My dream is to move back to the US, although I'm open to the idea of staying in Europe"

HLTV.org caught up with Owen "⁠smooya⁠" Butterfield after his removal from Chaos to talk about the unforeseeable situation that led to his abrupt departure, the differences from competing in North America and Europe, his thoughts on Flashpoint 1, and more.

The British AWPer parted ways with Chaos at the end of March due to visa issues that he was unable to sort out because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With the indefinite postponement of smooya's P1 visa interview with the US embassy preventing his return to the United States, Chaos opted to release the player from his contract, later replacing him with Logan "⁠Voltage⁠" Long.

smooya is open to playing in NA or EU

Alongside delving into the unavoidable situation of his removal from the team, smooya discussed his short-lived experience with Chaos and his performance with the squad, his initial thoughts on Flashpoint 1, what he can bring to a new team in the future, as well as the differences between competing in North America and Europe.

You were released by Chaos after coming across visa issues as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. Can you talk me through the process leading up to your removal and how staying with the organisation was unworkable?

There wasn’t really a process, although the situation was impossible to avoid. I got told to wait until the visa appointment was ready (5th of June) and that was it. Until I messaged them asking: "Hey, can I get some updates soon regarding everything?", I was told we would speak tomorrow. The next day I got a call with the news saying: "Sorry, but you’re cut," essentially. Again, I understand fully that the situation was unavoidable but I would have liked to have the option to renegotiate the terms of the contract with a possibility to rejoin, but sadly not.

You had signed with Chaos back in January. How would you describe your short time with the North American team?

It was a perfect experience! The hospitality was amazing; they provided awesome apartments for the entire team as well as very professional people within the organisation to help make my move to the US so easy. A special shout out to Connor for being the guy who built everything in all our apartments, he literally lifted everything into all our apartments and on top of that looked after us if we had any issues at all. He's a pretty cool guy, to be honest. Love C dog.

Throughout your time on Chaos, you averaged an impressive 1.32 rating. Would you say that steel brought the best out of you and unlocked your potential?

I wouldn’t say so because, even though he’s a fantastic IGL, we didn’t really see eye to eye on many scenarios, but still held a level of respect for each other. I’d say it comes down to playing against lesser opponents more frequently as well as literally grinding the hardest individually. I had lots of advice from players like Hunter and Tabsen before going over [to the US], basically saying to just work on your craft, so I did. I did close to 2 hours of DM every single day while watching every single official back, as well as 2-3 other demos. It seems like a lot of work but I loved every second of it and could feel myself improving at such a fast rate. I’m sure I will get back into that pattern soon and finally reach the level I would like.

You only managed to play one series for Chaos at Flashpoint, in which you defeated MIBR in the opening match of Phase 1. What are your initial thoughts on Flashpoint as an event?

Ah yeah, the MIBR game, what a lovely throwback…

Jokes aside, it felt like a super well-run event until the whole coronavirus episode hit because we had some amazing people looking after us, making sure we all had our apartments sorted, food was ready, and so on. The event itself had a cool schedule which I was very excited to get stuck in to, actually. Overall, a solid 9/10.

How would you compare competing in North America to your extensive time playing in Europe?

It’s not comparable. There are too many players who are terrible at the game and just weirdly call everyone else bad and never strive to improve. Many streamers play FPL only for the money and the sheer fact to have something interesting to stream, along with players who have never made Pro League in their life with the biggest egos. Not to mention the level of teams I was playing against. Sadly, the practice was really tough to find because all the top tier teams were bootcamping in Europe, which sucked, but we just did what we had to do.

All in all, NA has a long way to build up in the tier 2-3 scenes and the FPL system is really flawed, unfortunately.

Would you consider moving to North America again to join a team if the opportunity arose, or is your preference to stay in Europe?

My dream is to move back, but this time without as much fast food (which would be a hard challenge), although I’m also super open to the idea of staying in Europe. To be totally honest, I just want to compete again. I know it was short but I hope I proved something during my time in Chaos by managing to get them into such a high placing in a small amount of time.

What’s next for you? Are you looking to jump straight back into competing, or are you waiting for the right opportunity? What do you feel you can bring to a new team?

I’d love to join a team as soon as possible because I’m itching to start competing again. I feel like I can bring lots of experience and good ideas, along with many, many frags. I think if the environment is comfortable for me and I receive a level of respect from the players, then I can also help improve many people in that team simply from the lessons I learned from the other great players I played with. Oh, and some LAN screams of course...

Now you’re a free agent, what does your day-to-day routine look like? What are you doing to stay sharp and get better?

Weirdly I’ve been streaming Valorant the last 2-3 days, but I'm still keeping up with my 750 kills a day on CS. I finished watching all my POVs back from Chaos and finished my final touches to my CS mind maps, which I created while over there. Soon I’ll get back into the FPL grind so I can stay extra sharp. So yeah, that's about it: sleep, 1-2 hours of deathmatch, stream some Valorant and/or play FPL, then sleep again.

I’d like to thank Chaos publicly for my time there and the people involved with the organisation! It was my pleasure to play for Chaos for the short time I did and I wish them nothing but the best moving forward.

And again, it's a peace out, but make sure to follow @smooyacs on socials to keep up to date with me - I might have some juicy news coming soon.

United Kingdom Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
561
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.10
United States Logan 'Voltage' Long
Logan 'Voltage' Long
Age:
20
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
420
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.09
#1
 | 
Israel Sonnabend
cool
2020-04-11 18:01
Rude!
2020-04-11 18:01
rude
2020-04-11 18:02
No
2020-04-11 18:14
American pest control watch out, big rat is on its way
2020-04-11 18:49
Nt my Queen
2020-04-11 20:12
Give smooya a home!
2020-04-11 19:54
#122
 | 
India X3pHyR
FaZe should kick olof for him he's getting old ngl
2020-04-11 22:02
#134
NiKo | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina permz
no
2020-04-11 22:40
I mean, sure, if you ignore that people are people and just think of them as CS:GO-playing robots, but frankly, I really don't see NiKo, Cold AND Smooya all getting along well together in one team. In a 2-man group like NiKo and Cold, the feedback loop works much better and it gets super complicated in a 3-way.
2020-04-12 13:53
my dream is -maikelele +smooya
2020-04-11 18:01
#23
 | 
Finland Smoonah
-smooya +maikelele
2020-04-11 18:05
-maikelele +smooya
2020-04-11 18:42
-maikoya +smoolele
2020-04-11 19:07
-smoolele +maikoya
2020-04-11 20:02
:o that's a daring player change, you sure about that?
2020-04-11 20:03
yea, i'm sure men))
2020-04-11 20:05
#97
 | 
Brazil Ahab
-smooya -maikelele
2020-04-11 20:12
-Olofmeister
2020-04-12 00:24
more like -krystal + smooya
2020-04-11 18:47
so 2 awpers and no igl? great idea!
2020-04-11 19:02
#73
 | 
United Kingdom craZy_y0
That will probably happen as well.
2020-04-11 19:23
First of all, Krystal is basically an awper himself. 2nd, switch maikelele back to Rifler and 2nd awper. Maikelele has actually decent rifling, godsent problem is putting him as awper instead of getting a good one
2020-04-11 20:20
#151
 | 
Poland HTMFS
I mean krystal lvl at beign igl is so low it doesnt matter for team if there is igl or no.
2020-04-12 09:48
Ngl he is Vetter than all polish igls mens((( Not trying to hate though but its kinda impressive how he keeps coming back
2020-04-12 21:54
#171
 | 
Poland HTMFS
Your argument doesn't make a sense in this Conversation, really it's pointless. And Krystal came back when and where? Maybe I'm missing something but team always fall apart when he join in.
2020-04-13 23:37
#190
PAGO | 
Poland Kazk
innocent said snax > Krystal in igling
2020-04-17 16:06
better than ence's 1 awper and no igl
2020-04-14 13:45
better than 1 sopa de macaco
2020-04-14 18:21
Ok burger
2020-04-14 18:25
1 favela please
2020-04-14 18:26
1 school shooting for the go
2020-04-14 19:32
sorry sir we only take paying customers
2020-04-14 19:36
Maybe you could use some spare tax mon... oh wait my bad
2020-04-14 19:47
#189
 | 
Finland kalza1
:DDD
2020-04-16 12:33
what are you thinking???
2020-04-11 19:20
Quite likely
2020-04-14 05:11
#4
 | 
Armenia TiBoN29
Godsent +smooya
2020-04-11 18:01
Smooya toxic player
2020-04-11 21:38
Is it something like "pick me, i dare you"?
2020-04-11 18:02
Peek*
2020-04-11 19:57
u didnt understand :/
2020-04-12 04:35
#146
 | 
Indonesia segopecel
Pasha london school?
2020-04-12 06:43
#147
 | 
Lithuania Sedge
he probably meant that this article, the message it's trying to convey is 'pick me, I dare you' to the org's
2020-04-12 06:54
#150
 | 
Indonesia segopecel
Thanks mate
2020-04-12 09:28
#152
 | 
Lithuania Sedge
do you want my trade link?
2020-04-12 09:53
Smart Lithuanian guy!
2020-04-13 08:51
k
2020-04-11 18:02
#8
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy
t3 player, nothing else tbh
2020-04-11 18:02
+1
2020-04-11 19:50
#9
 | 
Switzerland x676
your dream is to steal paychecks, lul
2020-04-11 18:02
Nah he's a decent awper he's just toxic as fuck
2020-04-11 18:03
Well ale least he ackowledgned that and tries to improve
2020-04-11 18:15
+15641854
2020-04-11 20:34
nt toxic
2020-04-11 18:02
My dream is a chat full of homies
2020-04-11 18:02
feel like its an unlikelihood that he gets any good offers others than a re-invite from chaos :/
2020-04-11 18:02
dead dream then
2020-04-11 18:02
#14
 | 
Denmark nrth_LUL
100T +smoooooooooya
2020-04-11 18:02
#70
 | 
Mongolia Kkura
This can work actually
2020-04-11 19:11
#74
 | 
United Kingdom craZy_y0
His shitposting game will be even better with the Aussies
2020-04-11 19:24
#153
 | 
Sweden axelious
AZR being the most awesome guy on the planet will perfectly balance Smooyas shitposting
2020-04-12 09:57
100T wants content and he's probably a living content
2020-04-12 02:38
#156
 | 
Mongolia Kkura
True
2020-04-12 14:21
#15
 | 
Russia alexgone
potential top6 player if he finds a right team
2020-04-11 18:02
#17
cam | 
United States girls
best country
2020-04-11 18:03
worst country.
2020-04-11 20:49
ur from brazil
2020-04-11 21:47
no
2020-04-11 22:07
#18
 | 
Poland kvvach
FaZe smooya
2020-04-11 18:03
#35
 | 
Finland Hoitelia
+1
2020-04-11 18:19
and -who ? His ego would fit into faze, not sure if he would fit in the team though.
2020-04-11 19:47
#154
RpK | 
France pol44r
-olof ffs put broky back on his role and let smooya awp
2020-04-12 13:34
#19
 | 
United States Nate_Trick
See boys, he loves the USA!
2020-04-11 18:04
Culturally and socially y'all the best people I can think of. There's just ideological differences that make it hard dude.
2020-04-11 22:01
#148
 | 
Lithuania Sedge
great contradiction
2020-04-12 06:57
Of course, everyone does when they stop the memes for a minute :)
2020-04-11 23:14
#20
VINI | 
Brazil 1930
bruh this guy is ugly af what an alien
2020-04-11 18:04
#21
 | 
Finland Smoonah
How bout nah.
2020-04-11 18:04
Wait does this article mean that he actually think some team will recruit him? I mean someone relevant, not endpoint n shit...
2020-04-11 18:04
#25
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy
he belongs to na imo, so he can play with ppl on his level (like orgless, chaos etc)
2020-04-11 18:06
#26
JD | 
Poland tutatek
Wants to move to NA cuz there is no real lvl of CS so he can be one of the best and in Europe there are too many players above him
2020-04-11 18:08
+1
2020-04-11 21:39
Yes
2020-04-11 18:08
#28
 | 
Russia alexgone
-stewie +smooya nitro to support
2020-04-11 18:11
smooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooya
2020-04-11 18:12
SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
2020-04-11 18:57
oke
2020-04-11 18:16
#34
 | 
Finland 0lter
Gl rat person smoooyaaa
2020-04-11 18:18
#36
 | 
Brunei Sk8erBoi
Smooya to ENCE, he will be perfect there
2020-04-11 18:21
allu is 10times better
2020-04-11 21:40
He’s a good kid
2020-04-11 18:23
#41
AZR | 
Taiwan Haoyuan
I think TL can really consider -stewie2k +smooya. stewie2k has been performed under average after they won the Intel Grand Slam, maybe it's not bad for them to have a full time sniper.
2020-04-11 18:26
Smooya in tl? Not good enough to have an improving impact
2020-04-11 18:39
I think if he keeps back at being toxic he can definitely develop something spicy with the boys. Stewie isn't what he used to be sadly, he's been underperforming quite a fair bit aside from his flashes of brilliance and his plays. Inconsistency. Smooya is an AWPer who hasn't shown his full potential, problem is that Nitro and Naf are already wildin on it so that's the major blockade in that system.
2020-04-11 22:03
i feel 50/50 about this.
2020-04-11 18:40
NA loves smooya
2020-04-11 18:26
A lot of EU players should go to NA and get their chance to shine, there's no room for them on Europe at the top. I guess Smooya is smart on realizing that.
2020-04-11 18:32
Translation: I need money to pay for my rent, I'm willing to do what ever to earn cash again.
2020-04-11 18:38
ROFL ps nice nick lol
2020-04-11 20:54
Thanks m8! The same to your nick! :)
2020-04-11 21:13
Movistar Smooya -Botpoz
2020-04-11 18:40
My dream is to kiss my homies goodnight again
2020-04-11 18:42
LOOK THAT THE FACE OF THIS GUY SMOOYA lul xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa xaxaxaxxa
2020-04-11 18:45
Q OTAAAAAAAA
2020-04-11 22:06
#54
 | 
Guatemala Nicaraqua
His attitude screams USA all over the place
2020-04-11 18:47
My dream is that fnatic wins all the tournaments this year
2020-04-11 18:48
>Dream >USA Pick one. Just join Godsent and take the AWP role
2020-04-11 18:51
Everyone can dream. NT Brit.
2020-04-11 18:53
PEEK ME, I DARE YOU
2020-04-11 18:57
COME 2 MEEEEE QUE OTA
2020-04-11 22:04
C9 now is your chance
2020-04-11 19:04
? oSee is solid on the AWP bro.
2020-04-11 19:15
And osee good rifler aswell
2020-04-11 19:28
NA lacks awpers so ill sure he get another team in NA
2020-04-11 19:07
My dream to figure out my health conditions. So gl
2020-04-11 19:29
#77
 | 
Germany ConAction
"Oh, and some LAN screams of course..." Gotta love him
2020-04-11 19:37
Smooya rekts na players or wut :))) “ How would you compare competing in North America to your extensive time playing in Europe? It’s not comparable. There are too many players who are terrible at the game and just weirdly call everyone else bad and never strive to improve. Many streamers play FPL only for the money and the sheer fact to have something interesting to stream, along with players who have never made Pro League in their life with the biggest egos. Not to mention the level of teams I was playing against. Sadly, the practice was really tough to find because all the top tier teams were bootcamping in Europe, which sucked, but we just did what we had to do. All in all, NA has a long way to build up in the tier 2-3 scenes and the FPL system is really flawed, unfortunately.”
2020-04-11 19:48
#81
 | 
Russia alexgone
will be great addition to 100 thieves or liquid
2020-04-11 19:51
ez liquid pickup - reite elige dunno wtf he wouldnt wanna bang out in oz - theyre much more his character than the hard butt americans
2020-04-11 19:57
#86
 | 
Europe XXXPAK1
No one want smooya because toxic af no one can work with him. He is talented awper but shit af as a teamate
2020-04-11 19:58
Join 100T, so harry potter can go back to the hogwarts
2020-04-11 20:00
Smooya tier 6 player
2020-04-11 21:42
-1 in Big the language barrier what with them speaking a ton of German held him back. He can shine, he just hasn't had the ideal environment for it. A squad around ALEX and him could definitely achieve something if they find some decent new talent and free agents to pick up.
2020-04-11 22:07
#88
 | 
Canada thech0sen1
What a loser this guy is. Every part of the interview was about him and what he does and how good he is. Not the fact that no one wants his attitude and steel thought they were friends... Then say he did nothing for you
2020-04-11 20:02
#92
 | 
Spain Crusher_CS
Smooya knows how ez is to qualify to things from NA compared to Europe, smart guy
2020-04-11 20:06
EU teams won't pick up this trash AWPer. But in NA standards he's considered one of the best. Honestly, some Tier 3 NA team is the only option for him.
2020-04-11 20:06
Is Smooya gay? I mean like out of the closet gay?
2020-04-11 20:08
#174
 | 
Austria doMK0
What does it matter? You fancy him?
2020-04-14 17:27
#98
 | 
Poland SebL
I feel like replacing Gratisfaction with him would be the best step 100Thieves can make. For me, if you put smooya in the right position, he can easly be the TOP 5 player in the world.
2020-04-11 20:13
today in "people with disabilities": i have a dream to be big boy and work like my daddy does!
2020-04-11 20:18
Hope he can get a new team!
2020-04-11 20:24
#102
 | 
Denmark devnr1
nonamer
2020-04-11 20:33
#104
 | 
United States stotte
"How would you compare competing in North America to your extensive time playing in Europe?" "It’s not comparable. There are too many players who are terrible at the game and just weirdly call everyone else bad and never strive to improve." Mate, this shit has Jonji written all over it.
2020-04-11 20:34
informative interview great one
2020-04-11 20:42
Overhyped player gets what he deserves
2020-04-11 20:47
+1
2020-04-11 21:42
Love C dog.
2020-04-11 21:43
who ? overrated trashtalker bigger mouth and ego than skill
2020-04-11 21:44
+1
2020-04-11 22:28
it's kinda funny to see a British saying ‘back to US’
2020-04-11 21:58
Interesting dream
2020-04-11 22:02
SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYA
2020-04-11 22:05
gl Smooya! "Smooooooooya" (S) s1mple after winning ESL One Cologne.
2020-04-11 22:14
SLULYA
2020-04-11 22:28
There are too many players who are terrible at the game and just weirdly call everyone else bad and never strive to improve. Many streamers play FPL only for the money and the sheer fact to have something interesting to stream, along with players who have never made Pro League in their life with the biggest egos. Why did MoE instantly come to my head reading this lol
2020-04-11 22:48
That’s because USA is the best country!
2020-04-11 23:13
#138
 | 
Europe t.o.p
Hope he plays on more LAN events so we can hear his dolphin screams again
2020-04-11 23:23
Who wants to play wiith this asshole ? He si more toxic then simple ... Quit now u fn brexit boy ...
2020-04-12 06:37
+1 toxic af and irrelevant, should retire
2020-04-12 08:20
#157
 | 
Russia alexgone
join liquid
2020-04-12 14:53
#159
 | 
Turkey sedo7
Monthly smooya interview
2020-04-12 17:37
#168
 | 
Germany flushbang
imagine british cs is good in any case and then you have this trash toxic guy named lowya :D
2020-04-13 01:58
fake brit
2020-04-13 03:26
tldr smooya says: me like money. NA give me money yes?
2020-04-14 18:28
#184
 | 
Russia sasha1608
Why are british players so sick at this point? Really mad
2020-04-15 18:52
smooya pls leave the EU, take your shithole country with you and never come back
2020-04-16 12:20
#192
JD | 
Poland tutatek
he has 200 iq he knows that he is trash, no hope in EU, so he wants to go to NA so he can compete with the "best" teams in US
2020-04-20 10:30
#193
fer | 
Russia Orz
toxic
2020-04-20 16:13
pff... Boastful, toxic and mentality of a 10 year old child. Go to hell, piece of shit.
2020-04-20 17:22
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