NiKo: Win as much as possible

April 9th, 2017 23:31

FaZe won their first title by beating Astralis 2-1 in a thrilling grand final of the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals. Following the match, we talked to Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, who won the HLTV MVP by ZOWIE award.

FaZe had an up and down event, but hit great form when it was needed the most, in the final match against Astralis. After losing their map pick, Mirage, the European mixture picked up the following two maps, including Inferno that went to overtime.

NiKo pointed out that they can't settle for anything less than winning now

After the match, we talked to the MVP of the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals Nikola "NiKo" Kovač about the game against Astralis and FaZe's future goals.

Mirage was the first map, your pick, you got into the lead but they made a comeback and took the map 16-14. What was the feeling after losing your pick and that close as well?

Personally I felt bad after that map because my performance was very bad. I had much higher expectations for myself… If I would've played Mirage a little better, I think we would've won that map.

I talked to the team after that match and we went into Nuke. We had a feeling before the match, when we did the veto, that we were in an advantage because Mirage is one of our better maps, Nuke also. We were also thinking that Astralis was a bit scared in the veto, because they didn't pick their strongest map, Train. 

Nuke was a dominant win, what was crucial in that map?

I think the crucial thing was our energy and the desire to win, because we left Mirage behind us pretty fast and just focused on the remaining two maps. That was the key to winning Nuke. And everything went how we planned as CT… and as T.

Last map, Inferno. You had a bad T side, but as it is Inferno, you had the chance to comeback on CT. In the end, the double AWP—it won you some rounds, but it seemed that it was pretty hard to use it against the executes, smokes and flashes Astralis utilized. Tell me a bit about the thinking around that, the decisions made, and Inferno in general.

Firstly, as T, we were very bad in countering device on B. They had banana almost every round, so they could do whatever they want, they could rotate around the map, play 4 A, 3B, whatever. We decided, in the five minute break that we had before overtime, to find a way to not give them banana so we could do our executes and that brought us the victory in the end. I think that break helped us a lot.

As CT… We played against them online and we had a lot of troubles, that's why we went for the double AWP, we didn't know they would counter it. We thought the double AWP would be the key to our CT side.

You said earlier that the energy was important, karrigan was pretty excited, energetic. Did playing with him for a month now open new thoughts about in-game leading, seeing that you were leading for mousesports for a long period of time? Is there something you would've done differently? Tell us a little about the relationship and his leading.

To be honest, I didn't think about how I used to call and how I'd call if I was back in mouz, because I focused on our team and reaching our goals as fast as possible—which we did. About karrigan, his calling is great, he can do good calls under pressure, but he is willing to listen to feedback too. We work together pretty well and that brought us the victory as well.

Do you have some words for your team after the victory?

I'm pretty proud of my team because we achieved this result as fast as we did. I think we didn't expect we'd achieve it so fast. Thanks to them, and thanks to the FaZe organization who made it possible for me to join the team and achieve my goals. And thanks to everyone that has been supporting us, I hope they continue to do so in the future.

Lastly, what is the next for FaZe, what is the next goal after winning your first title?

Obviously, our goal is to win as many tournaments as possible, I think we have the potential to do so and I think we are showing that potential. After winning a tournament, we can't set our sights on anything less.

Professeur writes for and can be found on Twitter.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Havoc | 
Czech Republic mitsorubi 
2017-04-09 23:30
2017-04-09 23:31
Good job FaZe!
2017-04-09 23:32
face win next major?
2017-04-09 23:34
Brazil Otazul 
Probably, Unless Hellraisers are playing Kappa
2017-04-10 00:02
Russia Rip_X 
FaZe win ESL Colonge soon.
2017-04-10 07:28
Yes they probably do
2017-04-10 09:24
Brazil paanic 
2017-04-09 23:30
GG man
2017-04-09 23:31
Paraguay mcraepy 
nice niko..
2017-04-09 23:31
Italy ErR0Rleet 
EZ 4 NiKo Clan
2017-04-09 23:31
Niko ma man
2017-04-09 23:32
2017-04-09 23:32
World pcmasterrace 
2017-04-09 23:32
NikO wasn't best player, so sad
2017-04-09 23:34
Probably he wasn't but he bringed the most key rounds for the win
2017-04-09 23:46
Kio was the best of faze the whole tournament , strong aim , he got no pressure in clutches , can clutch every 1v1or2 while niko cant play good against astralis or other team in same level
2017-04-10 09:28
k1o and allu was best againts Astralis in final karrigan was best againts HR in 1/2 allu and rain was best againts G2 in 1/4 rain was best againts Sk on key game in group When did NikO was best? against Immortal or Gambit? sry, but its team tie3-4
2017-04-10 00:03
I provided FACTS and u still shit talk Nikos rating 1,14 allu 1,05 on second place He was even BY FAR the best player you moron
2017-04-10 00:10
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
its not all about rating...Kio had sooo many clutches. but I think people just expect the MVP to have more impact in the final
2017-04-10 00:20
dude it's a pretty big difference nad rating is pretty acurate
2017-04-10 00:24
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I agree, but the fact that he was not as much impact in the final, and a lot of his rating was in matches lost or against bad teams makes me think someone else should get it. It was a true team effort everyone contributed, and I think you could make a case for kio, niko, or even allu barely...someone had to win it, so good for niko
2017-04-10 00:30
in the end niko deserved it the most as the stats say but you can have ur opinion ofc
2017-04-10 00:34
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I think it is fine he won it...I am just saying people expect MVP to have more impact in the final. if niko didn't get added they wouldn't have won clearly so he definitely is a difference maker
2017-04-10 00:35
Austria SplasJ 
I would have given it to Kio aswell
2017-04-10 09:55
bodyy | 
United Kingdom phes 
Yeah same, this is just a stat mong. Stats mean fuck all in the grand scheme, you watch the game you decide who was the most impactful player and this time it was with out a doubt Kio.
2017-04-10 10:21
Austria SplasJ 
Agree stats are nice but should Not be the Major deciding factor
2017-04-10 10:37
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
you are 100% right, if I look at stats it easy to pick niko as MVP, but those of us that actually watched the tournament know the huge impact Kio had greater than anyone. Plus IMO if not for him SK might have gone to playoffs and beat FaZe and knocked them out if not for Kio. 8-7 CT train is not great, but on T side after allu messed up his knife fight and got owned Kio bailed em out with that amazing 1v2 glock clutch that started the 8-0 T side half...without that it would have been 8 Faze to 10 SK and maybe SK wins with a stronger economy but thanks to Kio SK went home and Faze went to playoffs and won it all even though group stage was tough on them
2017-04-10 18:46
Denmark LordBandido 
Bro this Canada dude have made up his mind No reason to try reason with him Niko best in FaZe eaay
2017-04-10 01:19
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I am just discussing it with other intelligent individuals, I can see reasons why people would pick niko for MVP. It is more fun to have intelligent debates with information to back up our claims than say things like: "Niko best in FaZe eaay" there is not point to even post on a forum with brainless stuff like that...I hope you meant easy but maybe you think eaay is a cool way to say it IDK...I also hope you are 16 or 6 years old and not really 6, or that your English is not very good and you are better in your native language, because I hope you are smarter than you sound in English because I don't want to be sad that you are braindead I am soo high but I could kill 1 million more braincells and not be as braindead as you
2017-04-10 18:50
Denmark LordBandido 
You're just talking shit No neeed to discuss with a wall
2017-04-10 18:56
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
actually, every response I wrote above has a rational point, ZERO shit talking, and evidence to backup my point. If you took the time to read it instead of saying "this Canada dude have made up his mind" you would see I even said several points agreeing with your POV and niko for MVP including: -"I think you could make a case for... niko...good for niko" -"I think it is fine he(niko)won it...if niko didn't get added they wouldn't have won clearly so he definitely is a difference maker" I am sorry I hurt your feelings and that I am high and was mean to you, I hope we can move on
2017-04-10 19:04
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
JK I am not sorry...if it takes this kid until age 26 to become a master baiter on HLTV, than he must be living in his moms basement working at mcdonalds (we know he did not go to uni from his english). He has accomplished what most HLTV kids do by age 15, and by age 16-17 they are better than him...most people by 26 bait once in a while but sometimes get some props and don't have to be bait masters all the time but some people take 10+ years to master baiting and make life sacrifices to do so...good job!
2017-04-10 19:57
Denmark LordBandido 
Bro you got mental problems Like literally, you should get checked asap
2017-04-10 20:09
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I am not your brother, I am your friend, and friend I do get checked all the time that is how my psychiatrist gets me my adderall. I was just kidding calm down.I apologized and you do not reply, so I figured a master baiter would reply if I gave them some bait...and I was right. IDK why you do not reply to kindness but you reply to insults maybe you need help or are just a masochist idk. Work can be boring sometimes when I finish all the work with good quality ratings but the client requires more hours to meet their minimum, so I have to go on espn and HLTV and find stuff to do while I get paid so I am not getting paid for doing nothing when my work is all done. anyways i am sorry if i offended you do u accept my apology?
2017-04-10 20:20
Denmark LordBandido 
Call 911 You've got psycho tendencies, damn Daniel
2017-04-11 02:54
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
who would call 911 on themself snitching on the homies is bad and snitching on oneself is just silly. That is really cool you know your memes maybe after u accept my apology and we become friends you can teach me to speak in meme like the cool kids
2017-04-11 06:24
Denmark LordBandido 
You're true definition of cringeworthy my man
2017-04-11 06:39
stop nu din fcking trold
2017-04-11 09:12
Tournament MVP != PotM, which was indeed k1o
2017-04-10 12:34
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I understand that completely, but it is also possible for MVP to = PotM, even though it is not required. Kind of like how a square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. Rating is good but doesn't show everything like I am really high right now but that does not mean I am the best person just cause I am the highest. Rating in matches lost also inflates and pads stats and doesnt mean much. Kio had tons of clutches, and from watching the tournament, many people including myself felt like he had more impact frags than niko, especially in the maps that mattered...I would be curious to see all the FaZe players ratings later when I am sober or right now while I am still really high, I bet nikos are more similar to kio and allus if you took out BO1 maps they lost before playoffs, but I am high and rating is important but just cause your rating is high doesnt mean your the best just because I am high right now does not mean I am better than you. Regardless, it was a GREAT team effort by FaZe...rain stepped up after being AWFUL in early losses, karrigan was a great IGL and didn't go full bot mode frag wiselike some tournys, I am really high right now,allu played very good, Kio had a huge impact and tons of clutches,I am really high right now, and niko played great and was the addition FaZe needed to become champions instead of losing tournaments. So rating wise, and as far as being the addition needed to win, niko is a fair MVP. I still prefer Kio as MVP BUT I could see an argument that niko's ability to AWP when needed, rifle, I am really high right now,win Deagle force buys,AND mid round call makes him more versatile than Kio so that factor along with his high rating = why he is MVP. Speaking of high ratings I am soooo super high right now I am high as fuck that is why this is super long going on and on. So niko is a fine choice even if I disagree personally. Bottom line IMO is it was a complete team effort, you could make a case for allu, niko, and Kio all being MVP but I prefer Kio but there is nothing wrong with niko being MVP I am still high as fuck so still writing this high, the whole team contributed and played great so its cool niko won MVP but when I was sober I thought Kio should be MVP and when Im high I still think Kio should be MVP but niko played great and had the highest rating.
2017-04-10 18:29
shox | 
Canada dB- 
He didn't peak high but he was consistently high, unlike the others, that's why he got a higher average rating for the whole event.
2017-04-11 12:52
"NiKo pointed out that they can't settle for anything less than winning now" They should be thankful they even won this event lulz
2017-04-09 23:44
Bosnia and Herzegovina NiKoindahouse 
thankful? they kicked sk, g2(on lan) and astralis in playoffs they pretty much deserved it
2017-04-09 23:50
I mean if you beat Astralis, especially with how they were playing against NaVi, it's impossible to say they didn't deserve it.
2017-04-10 00:04
Navi can easy win everyone and lose hard from everyone, they have problem in playoff on lan, I think Navi was better play against Faze than Astralis.
2017-04-10 08:28
They didn't went in playoff if was standard system - 3 games, they had 1 win and 2 lose after 3 games.
2017-04-10 08:22
sl33zy why ur always mad dude? :D
2017-04-10 00:06
True -won knockout match vs SK -won knockout match vs G2 -won knockout match vs Astralis Probably the hardest possible road in a long fkn time. Fazethefuckup
2017-04-10 09:56
Well done, happy to see Niko winning tier 1 tournament in the end!
2017-04-09 23:46
2017-04-09 23:46
was hoping at least the last interview would be a an actul video :( gg
2017-04-09 23:51
Russia Nikosimus 
Congrats FaZe, well deserved, I'm so happy:3 #FAZEUP
2017-04-09 23:52
Bulgaria vectralsoul 
EZ 4 NiKo Clan #FaZeUp #NiKoUp
2017-04-09 23:57
Bosnia and Herzegovina Cevap 
Good luck man!
2017-04-10 00:15
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
umm I am a Niko fan but HOW THE F did Kio NOT get MVP? or Allu? Niko was NOT the MVP stat wise or impact wise
2017-04-10 00:19
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
He was stat wise atleast.
2017-04-10 00:28
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
ya I agree with that...I guess I just expect the MVP to have bigger impact in the final, but it was a good team effort and someone has to win it
2017-04-10 00:29
shox | 
Serbia ravi0ll1 
+1 And well the hype has been around Niko, and its his first big tournament win.
2017-04-10 00:32
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I will agree with that, he is the change that made this possible. It is nice to see a team where everyone can step up...rain was bad early in tourny and later did good, hell even karrigan had some great maps. and 1 thing I didnt really consider is niko's versatility, not many players can AWP, deagle, rifle...mid round call. basically do anything to help team win
2017-04-10 00:34
bodyy | 
United Kingdom phes 
I love Niko and he is amazing but this was not a good event for him. However, this was Kio's best event i have seen in at least 2 years and he basically won it for them... He deserved it more imo.
2017-04-10 10:24
zqkS | 
Canada PwnNewb 
I agree 100%...I really like niko, but I feel like the people who keep saying he had highest rating either are fanboys of niko, or that they did not watch the event. allu had very similar impact to niko some maps but allu is not versatile. The fact that niko can awp,rifle,Deagle forcebuy and midround call and win rounds with all these things is huge. But impact and clutches to me are huge and besides stats and #s just watching I felt like Kio was on train against SK when allu F'd up his knife fight against felps and whiffed and then felps stabbed him, Kio clutched the 1v2 on pistol. That was T side 2nd half vs SK on train which is VERY CT sided, after an 8-7 half which is not usually enough rounds on CT. if SK had won that pistol they might have built economy and won the map and FaZe would have been eliminated before even going to playoffs, but instead Kio takes his glock and pop pop kills both SK players coming from Z with shots to the head in a sick 1v2...sorry this is so long im really high, but anyways if not for Kio SK might have gone to playoffs not Faze that play vs SK might have saved their tournament and he had many other nice clutches and impact frags that don't show in ratings.
2017-04-10 18:41
Australia Raychippy 
Not deserved just because NiKo is the best player on the team.. geez
2017-04-10 00:29
Finally Niko won, he is a great player :)
2017-04-10 01:29
Not deserved should have been someone else
2017-04-10 02:19
Niko, one of the best player of the world
2017-04-10 02:36
NiKo | 
France Amko_r 
2017-04-10 02:51
Iceland Ebbi2K 
2017-04-10 06:49
Malaysia phyzell 
More teams have a chance to win in CSGO. Thanks to the fucking sex pistols!
2017-04-10 08:24
amazing team... perfect faze
2017-04-10 08:35
kio deserved mvp much more. overhyped for nothing
2017-04-10 09:08
Israel Kp$ 
2017-04-10 09:40
EzaFor Niko
2017-04-10 10:36
Germany bhop_master 
niko and mvp? fuck this! kio,allu and rain were better
2017-04-10 10:50
I feel like it's a fluke and FaZe will not win anything else. Astralis even lost to North on that single map, looks like gla1ve failed to gain consistency for the team, and dupreeh was a complete failure in the final, he should think about it. I'm glad we have more teams that can do some damage.
2017-04-10 10:55
2 grand finals in a row 16-6 best team in the world on one of their best maps beat best team in the world in an overtime bo3 fluke
2017-04-10 11:43
It's the last tournament they won, so yeah, it was a fluke.
2017-04-19 13:08
where's navi? :( so sad for guardian
2017-04-10 12:37
cry astralis fanbois xD #thecryisfree #keepemcomin #thesaltytears #chokersLUL
2017-04-10 12:39
updated today: 1 - Astralis 2 - Faze 3 - Sk 4 - North 5 - VP CLG: +125 positions
2017-04-10 12:44
NiKo was well deserving of the MVP award but what is great about FaZe is that in the end, it wasn't all about NiKo. Every player in the team can step up and make a huge impact. A well deserved victory for FaZe, they showed great skill and especially great mentality. They were down 7-12 on inferno against the number one team in the world, and they just played thru it. Seems like the team is working very nice and people also need to remind themselves, FaZe hasn't been playing with NiKo all that long yet. So it's expected that they still improve.
2017-04-10 14:43
Germany Tunio 
they wont win much more lul
2017-04-10 14:45
finally NiKo wins something big, opposite the t1 teams same for rain and allu only karrigan and kio have won big tournaments
2017-04-10 15:12
Sweden lagcats 
i don't think that faze will win much even tho they look good now.
2017-04-10 15:17
XeqtR | 
Hong Kong wqnxy1 
memes: s1mple with tier1 team = ez major, in fact he ruiend navi niko with tier1 team = ez major, in fact faze doing pretty well with him so, let the holywar begin here :D
2017-04-10 16:06
Portugal Shion 
s1mple won a big tournament 1 month after joining Na'vi just like Niko now the problems started after
2017-04-10 16:20
XeqtR | 
Hong Kong wqnxy1 
esl new york was the only tournament they did well and it was cuz now still had ol', good, not ruined na'vi so in fact s1mple ruined em
2017-04-10 23:00
MVP! :)
2017-04-10 16:30
Dont feel like Niko was the MVP. He had a great start to the tournament but fell off as it progressed, whereas Kio and Rain significantly improved as the tournament went on. You have to be able to frag against better teams and in the important games.
2017-04-11 14:55
Niko dominating every match
2017-04-12 13:11
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