ATK end talks with Macedonian star
Dust2.us has confirmed with ATK that the team are no longer targeting Macedonian former BUEJAYS player, Aleksandar "CacaNito" Kjulukoski, as a permanent addition to their lineup. The decision comes after the 22-year-old player stood in for ATK during the European leg of their season, assisting the squad in BetBoom Playlist. Urbanistic, Elisa Invitational Winter 2023, and ESL Pro League Season 17.
It is understood that despite the player initially being picked up as a stand-in, ATK have interest in courting his services on a permanent basis, however negotiations fell through due to CacaNito declining a move to North America. The decision likely comes as a disappoint to ATK, who have struggled to find a stable roster after parting ways with Ian "motm" Hardy in November 2022.
Since then, the team have had to contend with the departure of Rhys "Fadey" Armstrong along with a revolving door of stand-ins and replacements, including: Saad "Pluto" Siraj, Ethan "reck" Serrano, and CacaNito. This instability is seemingly a motivating factor in a recent announcement by Michael "Swisher" Schmid, the team's star rifler, that he would be evaluating his options for next season. Should Swisher leave, it will be a disastrous change for the South African organization as he has consistently been one of their best players since joining in June 2022.
To add to ATK's woes, following the end of ESL Pro League Season 17, Swedish AWPer Jonathan "b0denmaster" Bodenmalm has been playing ATK's official matches from Sweden, creating a massive ping disadvantage for the player. This handicap can be seen as as a motivating factor in ATK falling short in the recent ESL Challenger League Season 44 finals and the ESL Challenger Melbourne Closed Qualifier. If ATK had won those events, the team would've netted two more international LANs in 2023, a vital lifeline for an NA-based squad.
ATK's coach, Daniel "sprayxd" Kogan told Dust2.us that the team are currently in the process of determining their new fifth, but he could not comment on the current frontrunner.
ATK are currently:
Gareth "MisteM" Ries
Jonathan "b0denmaster" Bodenmalm
Jonathan "djay" Dallal
Daniel "sprayxd" Kogan (Coach)
ATK's next outing will is the third ESEA Cash Cup Circuit event, which is set to start today at 06:00PM.