Smooya is released as pandemic causes ongoing travel issues
Owen “Smooya” Butterfield has been permanently removed from Chaos Esports Club’s CS:GO roster, the organization revealed on Twitter today. The British sniper had been benched from the active lineup earlier this month due to visa issues. As travel issues continue amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Smooya has been permanently released from Chaos and now sits in free agency.
Today we are releasing @smooyacs. The ongoing pandemic has postponed his visa interview indefinitely therefore he is unable to compete with the team in the US
Smooya is an exceptional talent, and we appreciate all of the energy he brought to the team
— Chaos EC (@ChaosEC) March 30, 2020
Smooya joined Chaos Esports Club in January of this year, making his first career move to North America. After Smooya’s signing, Chaos finished 5-8th in Winners League Season 3 and 5-6th in ESEA MDL Season 33. In March, the team was invited to Flashpoint Season 1 after narrowly missing out on a qualifying spot. Smooya led the team to victory over MIBR in their opening match, topping the scoreboard with 48 kills and a 1.38 rating.
Outbreak sends Smooya home
After taking down MIBR, Smooya was hit with visa issues that were unable to be quickly resolved due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. He was moved to the bench, and returned to the United Kingdom. As the pandemic has continued to spread, Flashpoint and other esports events have been moved online. Further travel restrictions prevent Smooya from reuniting with the Chaos squad in the United States. The team announced today that Smooya has been permanently removed from the roster and is now a free agent.
Smooya addressed this development in a Tweet of his own, explaining that he will be streaming in the coming days and is ready to fill in for any team that needs a stand-in. He continues in the following Tweet, mentioning the Chaos Esports Club CS:GO roster, managers, and coach as those who “made [his] 2-3 months in America so welcoming.”
It is currently unknown when or where Smooya will compete next.