OG have announced via Twitter that British AWPer Owen “smooya” Butterfield will stand in for them at BLAST Spring Showdown. The news comes after Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov was taken sick and is unable to play.
We have an unfortunate news to share ahead of our game against @NIPCS later today.@degsterof got sick earlier in the week and won't be able to take part in today's game. We wish him a quick and fine recovery.
Thanks to @smooyacs who will be standing-in.#DreamOG pic.twitter.com/nwAOt2tOJB
— OG CS:GO (@OGcsgo) March 29, 2023
smooya is one of the most recognisable names in Counter-Strike, having played for BIG, fnatic, Endpoint, and Epsilon among others in his seven-year career. He has also made a name for himself as a streamer, and received huge attention earlier this month when he was one of the first players to receive access to the limited beta test for Counter-Strike 2.
The recent years of smooya’s competitive career have seen a number of external factors impede him, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and visa issues. The former doomed a move to Chaos Esports Club in the USA, while the latter infamously prevented his mix team Benched Heroes from attending the RMR for the IEM Rio Major. After a controversial benching by fnatic last February, he spent three months last year standing in for Into the Breach and then won EPIC.37 with a mix team called The Neighbours before re-forming Benched Heroes in an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the BLAST Paris Major RMR.
OG have struggled to maintain their form in 2023, not helped by in-game leader Nemanja “nexa” Isaković taking a break from the team. They are currently ranked #15 on HLTV and are utilising Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen as a stand-in IGL. They will now add smooya to their increasingly makeshift lineup as they take on Ninjas in Pyjamas at 15:30 today.
OG’s team for BLAST Spring Showdown 2023 is as follows:
Shahar “flameZ” Shushan
Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar
Maciej “F1KU” Miklas
Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen (stand-in)
Owen “smooya” Butterfield (stand-in)
Caspar “ruggah” Due (coach)