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In the past week, Movistar Riders benched Lucas “steel” Lopes and released Kristjan “shokz” Jakobson. However, Owen “smooya” Butterfield took to his Twitch stream today to reveal the true details behind the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team roster changes.

Smooya stated that the decision to remove shokz came from the players, while steel’s removal came from the organization. So, now the team has until Aug. 10 to find two more players to compete in this season of ESEA. If Movistar Riders don’t sign great players in the next two days, smooya said that he “will decide if he wants to play this season” or choose to leave the roster.

Since smooya’s downfall on BIG and Chaos Esports, he’s been grinding his way through the Tier 2 Counter-Strike Scene. He explained that he joined Movistar Riders because the team granted him the offer to make decisions for the roster. However, according to him, “every time I’ve had an impact on the roster, we’ve reached top 20.” So, when smooya identified shokz’s mentality as a problem, the players agreed to release him and look for a better player. However, smooya said that Movistar Riders neglected to tell the players that they were removing steel; the longtime in-game leader of the team. With only two days left until the roster lock, smooya may finally consider other options.

Could smooya leave Movistar Riders for VALORANT?

In the past, smooya debated switching to VALORANT. Now, he said, he is taking that option more seriously.

“I don’t want to be grinding Tier 3 CS for two more years to get back to the top” smooya said. “If I don’t have a decent offer by Jan. of next year, I’ll consider switching.”

Smooya has always been about playing the best because he believes he is the best. In VALORANT, he’ll be “able to play against the best” as well, he said.


Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.


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