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Published: December 29, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov


  • The Russian organization will compete in tournaments starting next year
  • Its core consists of 1WIN’s former players NickelBack, Forester, and TRAVIS
  • They are joined by ⁠Krad⁠ from FORZE and ⁠ICY⁠ from AVANGAR

Following the trend of classic sports organizations entering esports, football team AMKAL has announced a new Counter-Strike 2 roster.

AMKAL Fields CS2 Team

Just a few days separate us from the new year which will see new teams enter the ever-growing competitive Counter-Strike 2 scene. One of these is AMKAL, who recently announced it has fielded a new CS2 team comprised of the former core of 1WIN, consisting of Aleksei “⁠NickelBack⁠” Trofimov, Igor “⁠Forester⁠” Bezotecheskiy, and Aleksandr “⁠TRAVIS⁠” Timkiv.

The trio has been inactive since November which followed a lot of roster changes that 1WIN went through in the past months. Chief among these was Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov who joined Cloud9, initially as a stand-in. Furthermore, his former teammate, Denis “⁠deko⁠” Zhukov moved to Aurora, rendering 1WIN’s roster down to three players, necessitating the organization to make the team inactive until new members were found. However, this ended in the remaining trio also moving organizations by creating AMKAL’s new core.

Who Else Is In AMKAL?

The new lineup is rounded out by Vladislav “⁠Krad⁠” Kravchenko from FORZE and Kaisar “⁠ICY⁠” Faiznurov from AVANGAR. The former player was benched from FORZE in July but made a return to the organization’s starting lineup in October. He ended the 2023 season with the organization before deciding to move to AMKAL.

Meanwhile, ICY comes aboard the newly founded team from AVANGAR. At the age of 18, he is by far the youngest member of AMKAL’s lineup. Despite that, he averaged a respectable 1.14 rating while he was playing for his former team, on which he was for two years, ever since AVANGAR returned to competitive CS back in 2021. However, ICY’s young age is also his biggest flaw as he doesn’t have much experience, recording just 23 officials on HLTV during this year. However, this should change soon as the player will have ample opportunities to show his talent.

AMKAL’s entry into competitive Counter-Strike 2 follows a trend where many classical sports organizations are branching out into electronic sports. AMKAL is particularly suited to this branching as it was founded in 2018 by YouTube blogger German “El Classico” Popkov. The team features celebrities — YouTubers, influencers, actors, et cetera competing in football matches, meaning the staff at AMKAL is experienced in electronic media and has skills that can translate well to supporting the new CS2 roster.

AMKAL’s first match will be at the European RMR closed qualifier for the PGL Major Copenhagen.

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