Nikola “NiKo” Kovac was on the roster of mousesports for nearly two years, sticking with the organization through thick and thin. Niko carried the team through their victories, his success often a prerequisite for mousesports to triumph.
According to mousesports CEO Cengiz Tüylü, after the ELEAGUE Major in January, Niko “approached [mousesports management] with the wish to join FaZe. We agreed that after all the effort he put in at mousesports it was time to search for a solution that would benefit everyone involved.”
What mousesports Tüylü inadvertently implied with the search for a solution was the existence of a problem. Though mousesports picked up the talented veteran Tomáš “Oskar” Šťastný to lift some of the weight of Niko’s shoulders, he needed a fresh team to play with. Faze bought Niko’s contract, but the Bosnian star played one more tournament with mousesports, brutally defeating Faze, with both Niko and Oskar carrying their three teammates out of the group stage.
Faze clan smiled their way through the defeat, however, knowing that they were a single tournament away from playing with one of the most talented people to ever play CS:GO. Faze won the next 9 out of 10 games they played, but not always with Niko topping the scoreboard. Though Niko played well in Faze’s first game of Star Series Season 3 finals against Hellraisers, his performance didn’t result in a victory. It’s clear from Faze’s mixed results in ESL Pro League Season 5 that Niko’s role isn’t quite cemented, but his raw firepower and incredibly strong game sense allowed Faze to take second place at IEM Katowice in early March. It’s clear that Faze Clan is a much more formidable team with Niko, but they will need to put in the work to realize their full potential.