NiKo: "We put broky as an AWPer on the T side and olof is back on the flank"

In our final media day interview of BLAST Premier Spring group A we spoke to Nikola "NiKo" Kovač to discuss recent adjustments in FaZe and some of the issues the team experienced late-2019.

FaZe opened 2020 with a bang, having successfully qualified for the prestigious IEM Katowice tournament, taking place at the end of February. The squad recently concluded their first series of BLAST Premier Spring, where they successfully managed to best NiP in a straightforward 2-0, taking both Overpass and Mirage with convincing scorelines.

NiKo is happy with how the recent changes have panned out

During media day we sat down with NiKo to talk about some of the issues the squad was experiencing towards the end of 2019, including their poor showing at BLAST Pro Series Global Final and the reasons behind it. We later learned about the adjustments the team had made over the break, and why Helvijs "broky" Saukants now finds himself AWPing on the T side of maps over Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer.

Your last tournament of 2019, BLAST Pro Series Global Final, was a bitter end to the year as you finished last. What was the period after the event like for the team? What did you discuss?

The BLAST Pro Series Global Final didn't really work out for us, we hoped for better results. We showed some good things against Liquid, and even though we lost the match, we felt like we were really close to winning it. It was still a really disappointing result, especially after Pro League, where we failed. We thought that at BLAST Pro Series Global Final we really had to step up and show a way better result, but we didn't.

After the event, we immediately knew what our biggest problems were, and mostly it was our attitudes going into the game. We weren't as hyped at the BLAST Pro Series Global Final as we were when we played IEM Shanghai, it didn't feel like we went into the match with much energy. We didn't really celebrate the rounds; we were winning, but it was just handshakes and stuff, it didn't feel like we were hyped. That was a big issue for us that event, and that's what we are trying to work on - trying to maintain the same energy and level for every match that we play. It's what we worked on in both of the bootcamps, we tried to practice in a way where we would have fun all the time, joke around and keep a good mood in the team. That's the biggest thing we've worked on since the BLAST Pro Series Global Final.

On a more positive note, you had a spectacular showing at the European closed qualifier for IEM Katowice 2020, where you surpassed ARCY and ENCE on your way to qualifying. Presumably, this result was a reflection of your preparation and bootcamp beforehand - how did you manage such a convincing showing?

We just felt comfortable playing. The bootcamp went really well, we had a five-day bootcamp before it. Everyone was hungry because we came back straight from vacation and we obviously really wanted to get a spot in Katowice, we didn't want to miss out on it. We came there with full energy and good preparation and, as I said, the biggest reason why it went so smooth was because we had really good energy in the team. It didn't matter that we had a close game against ARCY, we still managed to close it out.

I've never had a good experience with qualifiers, it's always hard playing them, especially when you're playing against underdogs or you feel like you have to win. You really have to take it as seriously as you do when you play an event. We did what we had to do, and I'm happy that we qualified.

Do you have any comments regarding the scheduling of the qualifier?

Yeah, the timing for us was terrible. Janko made a couple of Tweets because it was two days after our [Christian Orthodox] Christmas. The thing is, the official player break was till January 15, right? So we didn't expect to have anything before that and had planned vacations. Janko and I went on vacation to Brazil, and we came back on January 3. I hadn't played CS for like 15-20 days, so straight from Brazil I had to go to the bootcamp and start playing, which is not something we had planned for, right?

We wanted to have a few days at home, just to get into individual shape again, and then go to the bootcamp and prepare for the events, qualifiers etc. We tried contacting ESL, but it didn't really work out. They didn't even try to respond to Janko on Twitter, we tried to do it through the CSPPA as well, but they said they didn't have time to change it, even though I looked through the calendar a few times and I saw a few days that they could have adjusted it to. But yeah, it's just ESL things I guess.

At the time that you added broky, the team was actively in the process of figuring out how you want to incorporate him into the squad and how the roles needed to be rearranged to accommodate this. How is the progress on this? How comfortable is the team?

I think that we are pretty comfortable right now. We have changed a couple of things since the last season, so we're looking forward to showing people what we have changed. I'd say we are feeling as confident as we felt at BLAST Copenhagen. I don't want to talk too much about it, because we've made a couple of changes, but we know that we can be really good. We have really high highs, but also very low lows, so we are looking forward to hitting the highs and, hopefully, we'll show it at this event.

Closer towards the end of the year, olofmeister took on AWPing. Could you give us some insight into how that's been panning out for the team?

It worked out for us for a couple of events when olof was AWPing, but we saw bigger potential in him being a lurker for us because he has been doing a really good job of it in the past. We switched the roles right now, so we put broky as an AWPer on the T side, and olof is back on the flank. The biggest reason why we had done it was because broky wasn't feeling confident in the lurking role. He was not doing the job he was supposed to do, so he felt like he would be way more comfortable if he's in the group with people so that someone can control him and put him more towards the action.

That was one reason why we changed, but, overall, in the last season olof was doing a really good job with the AWP, but we have been missing those lurks on both sides where we keep making pressure. It makes our job easier when, for example, we're doing defaults and stuff. We made the change now, and so far it's looking good.

Sweden Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1359
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
Latvia Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
275
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.12
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1164
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
#1
 | 
United States Bonger 
Cool interview!
2020-02-01 19:11
#7
 | 
Morocco Op1xoN 
Great
2020-02-01 19:12
Absolute bonger of an interview
2020-02-01 21:13
#2
 | 
Iran ok__boomer 
ok boomer
2020-02-01 19:11
#3
 | 
Latvia Faaakk 
n1
2020-02-01 19:11
#4
LUq | 
Poland legitb 
OK
2020-02-01 19:11
#5
dobu | 
Mongolia Hakku^^ 
okey
2020-02-01 19:11
-broky +woxic /closed
2020-02-01 19:12
#20
DaZeD | 
Turkey qubeKs 
Most retarted comment ever, but what should I expect from someone who named his self BANANIZ XANTARES.
2020-02-01 19:46
+1
2020-02-01 19:53
+1
2020-02-01 20:08
woxic better than broky with awp why retarted comment is it ? faking dumb
2020-02-01 20:11
#31
 | 
Czech Republic Guczy 
-broky +zywoo why? becouse zywoo is better awp
2020-02-01 20:23
#33
DaZeD | 
Turkey qubeKs 
Do you think woxic would destroy his entire career in mouz just to just replace someone that is playing for a washed up team?
2020-02-01 20:43
money is money, you know
2020-02-01 20:44
#35
DaZeD | 
Turkey qubeKs 
He might earn more money in FaZe, but he definitely earns money by attending and winning tournaments. And do you think he wants to join a bad team while he can finally show how good he is by playing for mouz?
2020-02-01 20:47
yes
2020-02-01 20:51
#47
 | 
India 3rst 
But why? Why you like this my friend
2020-02-02 07:34
Boa mané já
2020-02-02 01:49
#42
DaZeD | 
Turkey qubeKs 
What
2020-02-02 03:46
#52
 | 
United States PossiblyRose 
+1
2020-02-04 19:05
+1
2020-02-06 09:35
omg
2020-02-01 19:12
#9
 | 
Norway Olemannen 
cool!
2020-02-01 19:12
nice
2020-02-01 19:13
Finally
2020-02-01 19:14
#12
Dosia | 
Greenland Grobiz 
Go olof!
2020-02-01 19:18
#13
 | 
Brunei cyLoL 
Not gonna help still a shit team
2020-02-01 19:19
Can a shit team beat liquid on their best map??
2020-02-01 23:46
#43
f0rest | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina veasih 
fr lol
2020-02-02 05:22
#48
 | 
Brunei cyLoL 
Yes lucky
2020-02-02 11:38
I see we got a low IQ ignorant here.
2020-02-02 16:10
#50
 | 
Brunei cyLoL 
No just being realistic, faze will do well this one event and everyone will be hyped about them again and in reality it’s just a lucky event
2020-02-03 10:09
ok thanks
2020-02-01 19:19
#44
f0rest | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina veasih 
bruh
2020-02-02 05:24
#15
 | 
Bulgaria GodHeaven 
Nikola LIKE Kovac
2020-02-01 19:20
#45
f0rest | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina veasih 
Coldzera be like: “Hold my beer”
2020-02-02 05:23
"We switched the roles right now, so we put broky as an AWPer on the T side, and olof is back on the flank." Fak. I put olof as main AWP in my Fantasy :D
2020-02-01 19:21
#19
NiKo | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina DaddyNiKo 
He will still awp ct so you will most likely get your awp stats for olof anyways.
2020-02-01 19:35
#17
NiKo | 
Other Nearby5 
nvm
2020-02-01 19:23
#18
nitr0 | 
United Kingdom Jim3110 
thanks for telling other teams
2020-02-01 19:22
LOL
2020-02-01 19:50
#26
 | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina BigDaddyNaz 
Yeah it's so hard to find demos these days, you have to buy them from the silk road.
2020-02-01 20:05
haha
2020-02-01 20:31
Lmao
2020-02-01 23:46
Good one 10/10
2020-02-06 09:36
good
2020-02-01 19:48
#22
 | 
North America NitrousCS 
thanks nikola kovac
2020-02-01 19:48
ok boomer
2020-02-01 19:54
broky very good awp , give broky awp role on CT side too!
2020-02-01 20:08
#30
 | 
United States Flyingape 
U right about that dude, i think it would be better for faze.
2020-02-01 20:18
ty
2020-02-01 22:30
#46
 | 
India _Jazz_ 
I think that's a good decision. Hopefully they continue with their current form.
2020-02-02 07:29
Thats a good decision, now put him main awp yet, keep him in different stages of the team so he can gain more and more exp and start growing as a player to become the likes of simple, zywhoo etc
2020-02-03 15:02
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