Smooya: “We will definitely get top eight”

We talked with Owen “Smooya” Butterfield about BIG’s amazing run at ESL One: Cologne, being labeled as “toxic,” and being an honorary German.

by Phoebe Dua

You had a great run at ESL One Cologne and since then, have had no official games. A lot of other teams have been at Shanghai, ZOTAC, Stockholm but do you feel just having time to practice as a team has been good?

 Yeah, it’s helped way, way more than I would have expected. We are better now than we were in Cologne, like five times better. Individually and as a team, we got to fix many mistakes that we knew were a problem going into Cologne but just hadn’t got time to fix them. I know that sounds really stupid saying ‘you know there’s a mistake, why don’t you fix it?’, it’s just little mistakes that needed a while to fix, for example, communication, certain positions on maps that people weren’t confident on. Now, we have swapped everything up and we’re like a new team and I’m super excited going into this event.

 Your first match is against Renegades, who you defeated at Cologne, so are you feeling confident going into that match?

 We’ve played them three times in practice and we beat them really badly every time before we knew we were playing them [here], so that just adds more confidence. Now when I see their nametags, I just know I absolutely destroyed them earlier and we beat them in Cologne but we weren’t even that good. It should be a really fun game and I’m looking forward to it.

 You’ve faced a bit of criticism when you have said things how they are, do you think people misinterpret it as toxicity instead of quite a British thing when you’ve, say, called people out for suddenly supporting you?

 I think you’re referring to the Thorin thing, right? When Thorin just went from pooing on me for six months, saying I’m the worst player ever, why has BIG picked me up, they’re going to fail, to me doing well at one event and being supportive of me. It’s just like, you can just F off, like what the hell? I’m not going to speak to you now just because of it. That’s not a British thing, that’s just how I am. It’s the same with a lot of pros who have supported me from the start and still support me now, I have the utmost respect for you, because they’ve been there from the beginning. So when there’s people who I know publicly didn’t like me before and now like me it’s like, f**king suck my d**k, man, you can shut up, I’m not even going to listen to that. That’s just how I feel. I like it, I can say what I want and I can kinda get away with it. As long as I’m not being super rude.

 You’re on a primarily German team and a lot of teams have been trying out multinational lineups, North trialled mixwell, Cloud9 have picked up Golden and STYKO, do you think that this is a pattern for the future?

 I think most teams have to because in the domestic scene, there just aren’t enough players or they have been through all the players or this player doesn’t like that player, or that player doesn’t play with that guy because he did this five years ago, you know. You kind of run out of options after five years of everyone knowing each other. I know the French scene is a good example, it’s been like two years without a really good French team because they all hate each other, the good players refuse to play with each other. I know with BIG, they didn’t want to get an international player at the beginning. It’s kind of hard for them because Germany has no good AWPers at all, other than one guy called syrsoN. I don’t know what happened, they couldn’t afford him or something like that so I was the next best option, I was cheaper I guess. That’s why BIG had to get an international lineup, everyone else is just doing it out of desperation, I think. Everyone’s just trying to copy mousesports when I don’t think it’s actually as good as everyone thinks it is, but we’ll see. 

 When in Cologne, the German crowd adopted you as an honorary German, are you hoping the British crowd will do the same for your teammates if you make it to Wembley?

 I think they will do, there’s no hoping, we will definitely get top eight, I don’t know if we’ll go further than that though, but I’m pretty confident we’ll get top eight. They might chant their names more than mine, you never know, ’cause maybe it’s just like that sometimes. It happened with Nifty in Sydney, when he did really well, no one was chanting AZR, everyone was chanting ‘Nifty’, so maybe everyone here will be chanting ‘gob b’. Who knows, we’ll see.

 Are there any teams you’re hoping to face now or in the future stages?

 I wanna play every team other than Astralis. I’m very confident we will beat any team in a best-of-one, any team, other than Astralis because they’re really good.

 Is there anything you want to say to fans or those that still doubt you?

 People who doubt me? F**king motherf***ers. Not really, just thanks for the support, thanks to BIG for giving me a chance and you can buy our stickers on the Steam market, subscribe to me on Twitch @smooyacs and Twitter, @smooyacs as well guys!

 

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Phoebe Dua

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