ATK Signs South Africa's Top CS:GO Team

ATK in Cape Town has signed South Africa's top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, which had been training in the USA and achieving impressive global rankings before its earlier sponsoring organisation ran out of funding for the project, thereby threatening its ability to remain a top team.

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 10 April 2019
Category: Feature Comments View Comments


ATK's Warren Barkhuizen talks abou the team at the signing
Above: ATK's Warren Barkhuizen (standing) introduces the new ATK CS:GO team: Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek, Dominic "Domsterr" Sampaio, Robby "blackpoisoN" Da Loca, Tiaan "T.c" Coertzen, and Johnny "JT" Theodosiou. (Rhys "Fadey" Armstrong is obscured behind Barkhuizen.)
ATK, which runs ATK Arena in Claremont, Cape Town, a gaming and e-sports venue supported by Corsair and ASUS, signed its third e-sports team on Saturday during an event at the arena. The team is the recently reworked roster of South Africa's best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team, which now comprises Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek, Rhys "Fadey" Armstrong, Johnny "JT" Theodosiou (the captain), Dominic "Domsterr" Sampaio, Robby "blackpoisoN" Da Loca, and coach and team manager Tiaan "T.c" Coertzen.

The event, which was hosted by Grant Hinds, saw all the team members sign the contract with ATK's Warren Barkhuizen before they autographed merchandise and participated in a Q&A with fans and the media. The evening ended with fans being able to play against them, and ATK Arena's Overwatch team, unIDentified.

The team is the best South African team in the world, having reached a global rank of 21 in January 2019 while it was still part of Bravado Gaming, which had sent it to the USA last year, under an initiative it called "Project Destiny", to enable the team members to train under better conditions, such as faster Internet infrastructure, and closer to a number of high-ranking teams and the North American CS:GO community.

Domsterr and Fadey watch blackpoisoN sign the contract
Above: Dominic "Domsterr" Sampaio (left) and Rhys "Fadey" Armstrong (right) watch Robby "blackpoisoN" Da Loca (center) sign the contract.
Unfortunately the funding ran out after a year, which left the team members faced with having to return to South Africa in January and lose their training edge or find a way to raise more money to stay longer. Initially they turned to crowdfunding to raise US$30 000, which would have given them three more months in the USA, and were running a successful campaign on Indiegogo that garnered major support from fans and a handful of top international CS:GO players before the campaign was suddenly terminated and the pledgers were refunded.

It turned out that USA organisation Denial Esports had offered to sign the team and four of the players - Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek, Rhys "Fadey" Armstrong, Johnny "JT" Theodosiou, and Ruan "Elusive" van Wyk - and the coach, Tiaan "T.c" Coertzen, took up the offer in late January, with Dimitri "Detrony" Hadjipaschali opting to remain with Bravado Gaming and return to South Africa.

Soon after it was announced that Energy Esports' Dominic "Domsterr" Sampaio, who was an original member of the team in 2016/early 2017 when it was still CarboN eSports, would be joining the players in the USA to test his suitability for becoming a permanent member again, which would fill the fifth spot in the roster, and then right after that Ruan "Elusive" van Wyk announced that he would be retiring from the team, which meant another player would have to be found to complete the squad. The team recruited Robby "blackpoisoN" Da Loca from South Africa and started preparing to climb the ranks again as the sponsorship and roster changes were beginning to take their toll: in the middle of February the team was ranked #48, then it climbed slightly to #42 at the end of February before dropping to a 2019 low of #50 in early March.

Controversy hit again, with Denial Esports' co-owner Zach Smith becoming embroiled in allegations of using homophobic slurs on social media. At the same time long time fans were disappointed at the transfer, not just because Denial Esports was an organisation from the USA, but, under previous management, it had been embroiled in non-payment scandals with other teams it had sponsored, some of which are ongoing.

The transfer seemed settled, however, so it was a surprise when it was announced last week that the team would be moving to ATK. It turns out that the negotiations with Denial Esports hadn't, actually, been finalised as there were certain areas in which the two parties couldn't come to an agreement, which gave an opening to ATK, which had quietly been negotiating with the team since January, to sweep in and bring it home (figuratively, more than literally, because the team will still be based in Austin, Texas).

Grant Hinds poses for photographs with the team
Above: Grant Hinds poses for photographs with the team.
As of this week, with ATK's sponsorship now giving the team members stability, which includes enabling them to return to the USA to train and compete, the team is ranked at #31. Its next major match is against INTZ during the ECS Season 7 North America Week 3 tournament on 26 April 2019, with the betting odds currently slightly in ATK's favour to win.

ATK CS:GO: HLTV Profile, Liquipedia Profile
ATK Arena: Official Site, Discord, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube

Tags: Games, South African E-Sports/#saesports

Support's Independent JournalismKo-fi
Donate via Ko-fiAt our mission is to publish quality content for the web site and our airwavez channel on YouTube. We research, we fact check, and we revise before publishing. We focus on in depth reporting and are proud that much of what's in the archives is still worth reading years later.

Please support our independent journalism with a tip via Ko-fi. Every bit helps and is much appreciated.

You Might Also Like Comments Speak Your Mind

Support Independent JournalismKo-fi
Support independent journalism:
donate to via Ko-fi.

Every article on is free and produced with passion - but passion doesn't pay the bills. Your donation makes the difference. Pay what you can, when you can - no strings attached.

Donate via Ko-fi Network
Editorial Contacts
South Africa Mandy J Watson
Founder and co-editor
Cape Town, South Africa

United States Jase Luttrell
Portland, Oregon, United States
Feed delivery RSS
Subscribe to RSS updates in a feed reader

Email delivery Email Delivery
Subscribe to RSS updates via email

Newsletter delivery Monthly Newsletter

powered by TinyLetter

South African Comics
• All The Coverage: Reviews, art showcases, and news from the world of South African (and occasionally Southern African) comics.
  • BIC Competition
  • Werewolves Versus Crowdfunding
  • Siri Watu #5 Exclusive
  • 5 Zombie Questions: Zapiro
  • Captain South Africa #3 Exclusive
  • News: Full Bleed Competition
  • News: March 2019
  • News: You Died Anthology Submissions
  • Older Posts

• Calendar Of Events: Find out what's happening in September and beyond.
  • 1: Midlands Literary Festival, Howick
  • 4: Open Book Comics Fest, CPT
  • 6: South African Book Fair, JHB
  • 7: Open Art Sketch Meet, CPT
  • From 19: The Art Of Comics, JHB
  • 21: Batman Day
  • 21-24: Comic Con Africa, JHB
  • 24: Bargain Books Sale, CPT
  • 27-29: rAge, JHB
  • Ongoing: Women/Fairy Tales, Nottingham
  • Cancelled: Siri Watu Crowdfunding

#sacomics Calendar
Save The Date:
More events

Explore The Archives
From The Archives

Special Focus: AI

More From The Archives

★ More from the archives.

Cappuccino Quest

Shop | RaruRaru
Funko Pop! Movies 732 - Alien - Ripley In Spacesuit 40th Anniversary Vinyl Figure
Get your PlayStation Store codes on - instantly
Funko Pop! Animation 112 - Rick and Morty - Rick Vinyl Figure

Shop | RedbubbleRedbubble
Dachs Trot Sticker by Danelle Malan

Dachs Trot Sticker by Danelle Malan, the co-creator of Cottonstar

Dachs Trot comprises individually die-cut vinyl stickers that are ideal for smooth, flat surfaces, including laptops, paper notebooks, and windows. Each design has a 1/8th inch white border.

Dachs Trot is also available for T-shirts and other apparel, wall art, other home decor, bags, and stationery. Click the "Available Products" option on the product page on Redbubble to see the full range.

Dachs Trot Sticker

Shop | Things From Another WorldThings From Another World
Detective Comics #1000

Get all the variant copies of Detective Comics #1000 at Things From Another World, which ships internationally.

Ads | Google