UPDATE: Smooya confirms reports of his benching at Movistar Riders - Upcomer
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CORRECTION: This story was erroneously deleted after smooya admitted to joking about staying on Movistar Riders, contrary to other reporting, during a stream. He has since announced his official departure from the roster. Upcomer apologies for the error.

As part of the announcement, smooya, thanked the organization for making his time on the roster enjoyable and wished the new players luck in the future. Smooya said Movistar made the changes out of a desire to field an all-Spanish roster going forward. He also thanked his now-former teammates for pushing him to continue improving day in and day out. He also clarified that while he is benched, he will still stream daily, at least until his contract expires at the start of next year.

The earlier version of the story is as follows below:

Following the departure of Lucas “steel” Lopes and Kristjan “shokz” Jakobson, Owen “smooya” Butterfield was debating leaving Movistar Riders. However, smooya replied to the reports shortly after.


Then, Dexerto’s Richard Lewis published a report detailing Movistar Rider’s move to a full Spanish roster, meaning smooya would be dropped. However, smooya took to Twitch and shut down the rumors saying, “no these guys are crazy,” in reply to a fan asking if he was leaving the team.

The news comes after a dramatic week for Movistar Riders. With only a few days left until the roster lock, the organization scrambled to find two players. While the team was anticipating the leave of shokz, steel’s removal came from the organization. Smooya has replied to several comments about possible players, saying Rigon “rigoN” Gashi may possibly be joining Movistar Riders in both of his recent teams. According to smooya, “practice starts on his birthday,” which is Aug. 16. The team’s first official match will be on Aug. 17.

As for the replacement players, Dexerto reported that David “⁠dav1g⁠” Granado Bermudo, Raúl “⁠DeathZz⁠” Jordán Nieto and Alvaro “⁠SunPayus⁠” Garcia would be joining the team.

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