NiKo: "If someone would have told me yesterday that we were going to win this event I would have never, ever believed them"

We stopped Nikola "NiKo" Kovač to chat after he was named HLTV x betway MVP at BLAST Pro Series Miami.

NiKo was named MVP of BLAST Pro Series Miami after his team won the grand final of the event against Liquid at the Watsco Center. NiKo had a stellar event topping 11 different categories, such as rating, damage per rounds, kills per round, and KAST.

NiKo with his MVP award

In a quick chat in the mixed zone after the confetti had settled, NiKo talked about turning it around with four victories on day two after a loss and a tie on day one, he touched on some of the keys of Dust2 against Liquid and how the map is one of the team's go-tos, how BLAST Pro Series events have been rough for the team in the past, and how to keep the momentum moving forward.

Yesterday to today, you started with a loss and a tie and brought it back to win the tournament. What happened?

If someone would have told me yesterday that we were going to win this event I would have never, ever believed them, I could never imagine it. The way we played against Liquid was terrible, against MIBR we could have won and should have, but unfortunately, we didn't. We showed a good result against them, but today was just a completely different FaZe and I'm glad that we showed up and that we can still play some goddamned good CS.

What changed, what was it that switched?

I don't know what changed, the atmosphere in the team was really good. We actually played like a team, we played like fucking champions, we just never gave up... we finally just started playing normal CS, good CS, playing together, not making many mistakes, and everyone was stepping up individually, as well. Everything was going our way today and I hope we can keep it up for the next couple of events [pauses] or for more events! [laughs]

You played a couple of good Dust2s today, you beat Astralis and Liquid on it...

I think our Dust2 is the go-to map right now. Most of the time it's our first pick, we picked it two or three times at StarSeries and we won most of them with the exception of the one against North, which we played terribly, but we really feel confident on it and we know that we can take on anyone on that map.

I don't know why Liquid didn't go for Overpass because it's still a good map for them and it's a bit shaky for us, so... I was surprised when they picked Dust2 and that's why we were very confident when they did it. Our Dust2 is just strong, we know how the rotation works, we know how the money, and that's what makes us good.

You had a really good start on it against Liquid, but they were able to bring it a bit close in the end. Why couldn't you close it sooner?

In the first half rain won most of the rounds by himself, he was 20-0 after nine rounds, which was pretty impressive, and that's why we got a pretty good lead. We may have been able to get that lead without him going crazy, I don't know, but on the T side we lost two clutches on A which led them to come back a bit in the half.

After that, we finally found a way to adapt to them and win the rounds, we'd been going A most of the rounds, like 90% if not 100% of the time, and then, in the end, we just faked going Long and ended up going up Short because they had focused on it a lot. They were leaving Long and fighting us on Short, so we faked a Long rush and took Short and that's how we were able to split them and close out the rounds. Earlier in the half, it was just losing some clutches, which they played well, and that's how they managed to get some rounds.

BLAST Pro Series events have been a bit rough for you guys in the past. You only won a couple of maps here or there. Is it a format that you need a good day on to win?

We always play bad at BLAST events, as I said, I never imagined we were going to play this well today, after yesterday. I'm happy that we did it and I hope we can keep this form up for their events, as well as other events. I don't think the format benefits us too much, but we're going to try and adapt and do our best to get better results than we did in the past.

I saw RobbaN was here, he was around, what was he doing? Did he help at all? Did he chat with you guys yesterday?

It's always nice to have him around, he's a really funny guy and he always brings a good atmosphere to the team. Having him around is always helping to have a good mood, I would say. That's what he brought for this event.

For the next events, what is it you need to keep this momentum going?

I just believe we need to keep the atmosphere on the team and to play like champions. There were many times when we just gave up, started fighting after we lost some stupid rounds, and people stopped believing that we could win and stuff like that, which today was completely different. I just hope we can keep that up for the next events and that we can keep improving from now on.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Brazil Juquinha 
adreN picking D2 against FaZe. 0 IQ xD
2019-04-14 02:28
adreN helping his ruski clone Adren 400 iq play for double agent and notorious choker Eric “adreN” Hoag
2019-04-14 02:31
Faze got lucky Admit it!
2019-04-14 02:42
Naah, Liquid sux big time
2019-04-14 02:49
rain | 
United States TylerLib 
I wouldn't mind being informed as to how they got lucky...
2019-04-14 03:59
Italy Gio_bose 
They lost 2 games and still hot to the final. Usually you can only afford to lose 1 game to get to the final But no luck in the final they just played fucking insane in the final
2019-04-14 09:38
No they only lost 1 game, check the event page
2019-04-14 10:09
They only lost one map to Liquid, and had draw against MIBR.
2019-04-14 10:53
Don’t forget that they had a draw with Mibr! I’m they had lose that game they would not be at the final
2019-04-14 11:34
rain | 
United States TylerLib 
Ya but it isn't like they had a comeback against MiBr, MiBr had the comeback so saying "if they lost" is kinda BS. Considering they hit match point first.
2019-04-14 17:38
XD salty liquid fan u lost more maps against faze than faze lost in the whole tourney XD
2019-04-14 12:30
That's right, but luck goes around this game.
2019-04-14 12:41
rain | 
United States TylerLib 
That is called recovery not luck. They showed up day 2 they got done what they needed to get done. MiBr beating astralis didnt matter. Liquid beating astralis in a bo1 isn't luck, they go back and forth often. As long as Faze was able to win out they secured a playoff spot.
2019-04-14 17:37
United States GoobJutsu 
Ive always been a big fan of liquid and even i can tell this wasnt luck Faze played out of their minds and the dust 2 pick was dumb
2019-04-14 04:26
NiKo | 
Belgium JariCSGO 
2019-04-14 09:12
India MistaJ 
Not lucky though ...they actually played good
2019-04-14 07:48
Winning 5 maps straight. Surely lucky. lmao
2019-04-14 07:49
India Nightwing___ 
Care to explain how??
2019-04-14 08:58
Butthurt. LMAO
2019-04-14 09:07
NiKo | 
Germany stanHD 
Winning against Astralis haha very "lucky"
2019-04-14 09:53
More like Liquid fucked up
2019-04-14 10:17
nah liquid just lose every final even if they play vs gambit
2019-04-14 12:50
No. They played like a team for once.. Thats why they won.. Lets hope they still play like a team later
2019-04-14 10:26
2019-04-14 02:41
maybe NiKo is the problem, looks like he doesnt believe enough in his team to win
2019-04-15 08:38
Sri Lanka Coman 
Just shows how trash BLAST format is.
2019-04-14 02:30
United States jackstaV 
sri lanka lol
2019-04-14 02:31
Sri Lanka Coman 
usa lol
2019-04-14 02:30
2019-04-14 12:31
Georgia Satan_p 
Isn’t your country under water already?
2019-04-14 18:29
2019-04-14 03:21
+1 I’ve been to sri lanka 2 months ago, great country with kind people
2019-04-14 12:51
2019-04-14 02:41
Argentina M4estre 
Still, astralis had their worst day in the last 6 months at least.
2019-04-14 04:35
Sri Lankan dont speak cheers
2019-04-14 08:01
Iceland Voldetort 
You need great execution of skills to win bo1s Blast_did_nothing_wrong
2019-04-14 08:07
Finland kuuu 
liquid could've thrown mibr game and faze wouldn't even get to finals, blast_did_nothing_wrong, serious event btw
2019-04-14 10:56
Iceland Voldetort 
But they didn't throw ofc _\_/_
2019-04-14 10:59
Finland kuuu 
just the fact that it's possible to decide other team's fate by LOSING shows how garbage the format is :) serious event btw
2019-04-14 11:01
Argentina FuegoDeFenix 
In any kind of tournament you can decide others team's fate by losing
2019-04-14 16:49
Can I get an IBP in the chat
2019-04-14 12:31
Sweden SnydenHjelm 
2019-04-14 02:29
wtf astralis maybe something happened inside team
2019-04-14 02:32
RFSH told them to throw to avoid suspicion
2019-04-14 02:33
Austria Tw1RLY 
2019-04-14 02:37
s1mple | 
India se7eNNN 
2019-04-14 06:59
Iceland Voldetort 
+1 Maybe the PCs had some other graphic than NVIDIA
2019-04-14 08:08
Spain Classicalesp 
2019-04-14 10:11
I felt these matches were fixed. Everyone just rushing, throwing few close rounds. But can't say anything. Astralis are known for disciplined game, aim and execution. I don't know how they failed so badly to mibr and faze. BTW rain should have won mvp for the tournament Bcos of the impact kills.
2019-04-14 11:29
Iceland Voldetort 
Ahaha I saw the whole matches What rush are youbtalking about XD Indian game reading lul It was because of NiKo that they could reach the finals Rain overplayed in just one map's CT side.Nothing to overhype.
2019-04-14 11:55
Yes and no cause u gotta remember adren also turned up for em and actually got them the win against Navi which pretty much won the tourney
2019-04-14 12:33
Iceland Voldetort 
+1 sir.🙏🙏👍
2019-04-14 12:34
Brazil praxedes 
2019-04-15 13:21
+1 xD
2019-04-14 09:08
rain | 
United Kingdom EKersh 
2019-04-14 14:46
They got stoned probably, It's Miami you know!
2019-04-14 03:28
Just an off day imo. Dupreeh and device looked awful Magisk and xypex were good, but not on their god level
2019-04-14 04:03
Austria SplasJ 
I feel Like magisk was good but Just alone
2019-04-14 12:23
Iceland Voldetort 
Call him magix science studies have shown you're day will go 216% better
2019-04-14 12:35
Europe rafaumarcisz 
1 bad day, will probably return eden stronger after watching demos
2019-04-14 04:13
Europe FaZeTop1_2019 
god niko
2019-04-14 02:32
Brazil eoteamo 
2019-04-14 02:32
Yup Robban was the reason for the change in performance in just one day
2019-04-14 02:33
"If someone would have told me yesterday that we were going to win this event I would have never, ever believed them" same
2019-04-14 02:39
+1 lol
2019-04-14 06:26
s1mple | 
India se7eNNN 
Hahahaha +1
2019-04-14 06:59
,+1 When tie tied wity Mibr I was: gg
2019-04-14 10:19
Blast pro series created for Astralis, and it failed them XD
2019-04-14 02:40
Created for astralis? The format is exactly the opposite, playing in the cards to other teams dude wtf.
2019-04-14 04:04
2019-04-14 07:07
Iceland Voldetort 
2019-04-14 08:09
2019-04-14 09:03
United States NoKeTchup 
2019-04-14 09:29
Astralis own blast, literally
2019-04-14 10:31
United Kingdom EoOo 
Not literally. The company that own Astralis also own the BLAST series.
2019-04-14 11:01
bullshit. astralis and blast have the same owner/organizer. there's - literally - a significant difference here, don't you think?
2019-04-14 13:07
No no no,,,,Astralis is Best on 3 map, they have the Best map pool in the World,,,i Can not undestand you say that ? Give me the reason ?
2019-04-14 14:49
2019-04-14 14:49
2019-04-14 02:41
United States PrisMcsgo 
Nice name
2019-04-14 03:45
not sure what happened to astralis, they played well at the beginning, but ever since lose to mibr with 2-16, then astralis kept losing. and btw, liquid should lose to mibr on BO1, so they wont meet faze at the final, just bad luck
2019-04-14 02:47
obvious throw
2019-04-14 02:59
Indonesia csRIOTgo 
after the zonic incident, probably RFRSH decided to throw... LULZ
2019-04-14 03:48
What incident?
2019-04-14 04:59
Indonesia youdelusional 
Who's rfrsh and what's about zonic incident? Ketinggalan gw bro..
2019-04-14 05:05
Indonesia csRIOTgo RFRSH is part-owner of Astralis and BLAST tournament
2019-04-14 05:37
RFRSH is the owner of Blast and Astralis. Thorin and Sadokist on twitter have been exposing these stuff as 'conflict of interest' and zonic was destroyed in a long debate.
2019-04-14 07:13
Rain <3
2019-04-14 03:02
United States JustBitsy 
What a guy
2019-04-14 03:09
2019-04-14 03:18
blast told him, blast told everyone. tourni is rigged.
2019-04-14 03:35
Finland Smoonah 
wow that quoting sentence structure is terrible.
2019-04-14 03:43
NiKo <3 (L)
2019-04-14 04:06
2019-04-14 04:27
v1c7oR | 
Russia manqurt 
2019-04-14 04:56
Niko loves show your false modesty. This guy try show some humble spirit but in deep he have tons of ego. Superb player but pretty arrogant guy.
2019-04-14 05:15
Lol hater he worked hard men))) 😎
2019-04-14 06:38
I recognize that, he is a hard worker. But i think he is very arrogant.
2019-04-14 12:46
Chile nachooww 
that was nice xd
2019-04-14 05:29
Australia Lolfeminists 
Winning a BO1 is a joke.
2019-04-14 05:32
Imagine having a roster like FaZe and not having the belief or confidence to win.
2019-04-14 05:42
Chile strong221 
imagine that becoming true
2019-04-14 06:24
One fluke means nothing.
2019-04-14 06:27
Guaridian & Niko deserve this
2019-04-14 07:11
Guardian deserves a major
2019-04-14 08:16
dsn | 
Other Onizuka_go 
never expected
2019-04-14 07:37
If someone would have told me yesterday that FaZe were going to win this event I would have never, ever believed them.
2019-04-14 07:54
Macedonia ydjoon 
this tournament organizer runs Astralis org. This thing is rigged to make Astralis look good and they obviously plan to make Astralis throw this one because theyre already won back to back blast pro series.
2019-04-14 08:10
oh fuck off choko no one cares, so no one would tell you anyway
2019-04-14 08:34
this is good. it was really sad to see that even faze fans werent disappointed anymore when faze failed. even niko didnt rage anymore. now everyone is hyped again. next event, we will see mad threads and rage niko again when they fail.
2019-04-14 08:45
xD pretty much. But I don't rage. I take it as like FaZe thing to do. When no one expect them to win is where they win and when theres expectations is where they lose lmao
2019-04-14 08:55
Me too NiKo, Me too
2019-04-14 08:54
+1 As somebody tells me Astrail / Navi will end of this tournament 2-3
2019-04-14 09:36
Hey guys! As someone who lost his bet I’m planning to spam forums for each and every day from now on about Astralis’ awful run! Please help me to decide which excuse to pick :( • Chinese mafia • RFRSH mafia • Everyone is hacking • Astralis threw for money • Astralis threw for skins • Whole scene is rigged and it’s all scripted • Earth is flat • Moon landing is fake • XAXAXAX KKKKK HAHAHA OMG VALVE BAN ASTRALIS SHIT All those reasons look legit for me and I can’t pick the most brain dead 😩
2019-04-14 09:05
2019-04-15 16:11
Other VladimirLucas 
csgo scene in 2018/2019 in a nutshell: astarlis + flukes + underdogs
2019-04-14 09:38
Ukraine McSwell 
Trophies in 2019: Astralis - Katowice Major NaVi - Starladder Faze Clan - Blast Liquid - LUL
2019-04-14 09:53
IBP Masters?
2019-04-14 17:01
faze has 2 events so far
2019-04-15 16:17
Europe Skraj 
Won a bo1 event, gj
2019-04-14 10:01
Blast format: Have one good day - Win a tournament
2019-04-14 10:06
What a fucking team player(!)
2019-04-14 10:26
He knows that is a fluke even for this bad format tournament.
2019-04-14 10:39
This event felt like it was a wwe series for some reason :/
2019-04-14 10:45
Bulgaria stef0o0o 
This shows how bad the tournament format is, just one good day and you win it all
2019-04-14 11:23
Austria SplasJ 
Kinda true lol
2019-04-14 12:24
Denmark how_much_ 
2019-04-14 11:30
Liquid is not that good and they have had few lucky wins. Astralis had a bad day and Faze finally got their heads together. Top 5 should be: 1.Astralis 2.Faze 3.Ence 4.Liquid 5.Navi
2019-04-14 12:37
Europe erhansol 
will not happen with faze winning just one tourney in last 6 months
2019-04-14 13:09
One tournament can change that. They are really strong players.
2019-04-14 16:35
Europe erhansol 
i know they can thats why faze is my fav team. i was talking about tomorrow's hltv ranking.
2019-04-14 20:20
I just really hope GuardiaN gets a major
2019-04-14 13:04
swag | 
Germany Joyex 
He deserves one so damn much dude...
2019-04-14 13:31
what kind of mindset is that? Wouldnt you wanna go in to any tourny at least with a winning attitude and think youll win it.
2019-04-14 18:53
he is just being realistic
2019-04-15 16:14
And fallen thinks mobr is still a functional team. Who is yet to find their 'rhythym'♿♿♿
2019-04-15 03:38
they not too much talk, all individual playing. But now like a team. before conference of give up IGL
2019-04-15 07:19
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