Source: HLTV
Source: HLTV

Can NiKo finally clinch his first Major?

Esports OlyBet 18.03.2024

Major trophy is the most prized achievement that a player can possess, apart from personal accolades. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač is surely the most decorated player with no Major trophy in his cabinet. Greatest CS players, such as device, s1mple and Zywoo, all have won at least one title, but NiKo hasn’t been that fortunate, although many times he has come close. Where did it go wrong, and can Copenhagen Major finally end the most discussed Counter-Strike draught?

First Attempts

The very first Major for NiKo was Cluj-Napoca back in 2015. He was just a young gun, having joined MOUZ, formerly known as Mousesports, in that very year. He was a hot talent, so MOUZ snatched him up from the Serbian team of iNation and quite quickly he became the leading force of the team. In his first Major, NiKo and MOUZ dropped out in the group stage, losing the deciding game to G2, his current employer.

Not much luck followed as MOUZ failed to get further than the group stage in the 3 following Major entries. NiKo finished MLG Columbus 2016 with a stunning 1.30 rating, but that wasn’t enough, as they once more lost out the deciding game, this time against NIP, who, might we add, fielded their coach Björn “THREAT” Pers as the 5th player, adding additional insult to injury. Results like these frustrated NiKo as his potential was bottlenecked by those around him and soon after FaZe Clan came knocking.

FaZe Era

Many argue that this was the most promising era for NiKo and results in various tournaments seem to back that fact up. With FaZe, NiKo managed to win 11 noteworthy tournaments, but Major was not one of them. Strangely enough, FaZe were always one of the main favourites, as this team didn’t shy away from spending for their star players, yet they never could convert Majors into victories, not together with NiKo at least.

Source: Imago Images

The very first Major with FaZe was an absolute blunder though. At PGL Major Krakow 2017, FaZe dropped out of the group stage losing all three of their matches, placing themselves at the very bottom of the board. Surely more was expected and it was time for FaZe management to make a decision if they wanted to keep NiKo satisfied.

Then next year came the legendary ELEAGUE Major 2018. FaZe dropped allu and kioShima and in their place picked up olofmeister and GuardiaN, who at the time were considered some of the best players in the world. FaZe had an amazing run, making it to the Finals of the event, where they faced off against the home team Cloud9. FaZe were the clear favourites, yet Cloud9 showed unforgettable resilience, taking it to overtime and winning a 3-map thriller, that might very well be the most popular Major final to this date.

To this date, this was NiKo’s best shot at winning the Major, so the disappointment was immense when that dream wasn’t accomplished. The next two Majors ended with quarter-finals and the last Major with FaZe ended abruptly in the Legends stage. Although the partnership with FaZe could have been considered very fruitful, no other trophies could fully satisfy the hunger for the Major, so NiKo jumped ship.

The Way Things Are

In 2020 NiKo joined his current team G2 and in their first Major rodeo once again they were in finals, facing off against the GOAT of CS:GO – s1mple, who too was Majorless up until that point. PGL Stockholm 2021 provided s1mple his first Major trophy, but NiKo remained in the dry.

The next two Majors in 2022 and 2023 respectively didn’t go further than the Legends stage, so after 12 tries NiKo still remains without a Major victory, regardless of his impressive personal portfolio. Now in 2024, we have reached the first CS2 Major in Copenhagen. G2 are looking good, yet they are not a top-calibre team. NiKo finished 2023 as the #2 best player in the world, yet he has struggled to find a consistent form in CS2. The roster of G2 also doesn’t feel complete, with nexa filling in the vacancy left by the departure of jks. G2 were solid in the RMR stage, very solid actually, yet their form in IEM Katowice was questionable, so it comes down to two things. Which G2 we will get in Copenhagen and can NiKo finally transition fully to CS2?

Coming into Copenhagen, G2 have already secured their spot in the Legends stage, so at least they won’t have to battle through groups, yet in their last attempts they’ve failed to get to playoffs, so fans have to keep their expectations realistic. Spirit is clearly the team to beat now, which might prove to be too big of a challenge, but the unpredictable nature of Esports might finally end the drought.


This piece of content has been lovingly crafted by the hard-working sports people of OlyBet. Hope you like it!


Related posts