German organization Berlin International Gaming are expected replace Owen “smooya” Butterfield in the active lineup with Johannes “nex” Maget, according to multiple sources. One source explained that smooya decided to bench himself earlier this month, but that has not been officially confirmed by VPEsports at this time.
VPEsports has confirmed that smooya has reached out to a few teams in North America and Europe about his impending availability. At this time, it is unclear which teams are most interested in acquiring him. Since BIG has listed nex as their coach for the IEM Katowice Valve Sponsored Major, it is believed that they will be able to switch him and smooya in the lineup without any issues.
In late December, BIG added Can “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş and announced that nex would go inactive and be receiving surgery. They explained that it was their intention to retain nex and integrate him into a “six man” lineup that featured players being cycled in and out of the lineup. In 2018, their best result was at ESL One: Cologne where they finished runner-up to Natus Vincere. Following the event, BIG had two quarter-final finishes followed by two group stage exits at premier events. Last week at ELEAGUE, they were unable to reach the final of the four-team event.