Nikola Kovac 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
FaZe Clan
Falls short when his team needs him most
January 28, 2018
NiKo couldn't step up when his team needed him to in the ELEAGUE Major: Boston grand finals, finishing with a 64/70 KD in FaZe Clan's 2-1 loss to Cloud9.
NiKo is widely regarded as the best player in the world at the moment. Watching this series alone, you wouldn't have believed that fact. With FaZe Clan trading blows back and forth with Cloud9 over the course of three games and almost 100 rounds, this was truly NiKo's time to shine. The fact that he was playing in his first Major grand final clearly showed, however. While he did manage to find plenty of clutches, he simply waited a bit too long to show up and couldn't bring much consistency to this series. Over the first two games of the series, he tallied just a 28/43 KD. He led the team with a 28/28 KD in the final game, but it was GuardiaN coming up with clutch after clutch in that game to try and keep this team in the hunt. NiKo will certainly use this moment to build and come back stronger, but for now, he'll have to live with the sting of defeat.
Unable to hold for the win
December 17, 2017
NiKo posted a firm 21/20 KD on Friday in the 16-13 loss to Astralis at the ECS Season 4 Finals.
NiKo ripped through the defense of Astralis in the early rounds to get the entry-kills and post-plant holds to take the 3-0 lead. However, Astralis contested to even the score 3-3 and eventually take the lead as NiKo opened up the A-bombsite with a triple to secure the 4-3 lead. NiKo then struggled to get past the defense after a few failed attempts on the A-bombsite to give Astralis the lead. He then found a few round wins by holding the post-plant to settle for an 8-7 half. NiKo continued in the second half with a firm hold on the B-bombsite to pick up a few rounds but nothing more as his performance began to trail off in the late rounds to take the loss.
Lifts team in win over Liquid
December 17, 2017
NiKo went 40/16 on Friday in the 16-12 win over Team Liquid at the ECS Season 4 Finals.
NiKo kicked off Mirage with a 2-0 deficit from Liquid, however, his Round 3 quad entry-kill on the A-bombsite earn the team its first win. NiKo then helped get the entry-kills needed for the early bomb plants to help economically and take the 4-3 lead late. Unfortunately, Liquid had a stout defense against FaZe as NiKo struggled to close rounds to help his team. Although he finally closed the half on a good note with a quad kill on the A-bombsite entry to take the 9-6 deficit. With a pistol round loss, NiKo came right back to help hold the line for three straight. He then broke the tie in Round 21 by crippling the offense of Liquid with a triple kill hold on the A-bombsite. Both teams contested the economy for each team was on edge, but NiKo saved the round with a quad kill to secure the 13-11 lead to eventually take Mirage, posting a monster 136.3 ADR.
Missing during key moments in loss
December 10, 2017
NiKo went 76/82 on Sunday in a 3-1 loss to SK Gaming in the grand finals of ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals.
NiKo started strong on the offensive side of Inferno to pick up a clean 6-1 lead. However, SK contested to even the score but NiKo come out on top in the force buys to help edge the first half with an 8-7 score. The force buys seems to work for NiKo, who picked up a 3-0 start on defense and eventually claimed Inferno with the 16-13 win. NiKo struggled against the pressuring aggressiveness of SK on Overpass, unable to shake his opponents in the second half for an even series. His performance began to get worse as his offensive side on Mirage went missing in the first half with only one kill to register. The second half aggression didn't go as planned as SK shutdown the come back to take the series lead 2-1. SK started perfect on Train but NiKo came up with some incredible individual plays to help his team edge the 8-7 half. NiKo then contributed to the overtime push but ended with only one round won in the 19-16 series loss.
Once again in the finals
December 9, 2017
NiKo went 43/26 on Saturday to blank Fnatic 2-0 in the semifinals of ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals.
NiKo finally broke free from Fnatic late in the first half of the defense to take the 9-6 lead. He then started the second half by tapping down three to secure the second pistol round, which turned into an offensive dominance to win seven out of eight rounds to take Mirage 16-7. NiKo contested early on Overpass as both teams traded rounds in the first half until NiKo broke the defense of Fnatic with a quick double to deny the retake in Round 14. Taking the 8-7 lead, NiKo saved the second anti-eco with a triple entry-kill on the A-bombsite. His defenses then took over for the remainder of the half as NiKo posted a 96.9 ADR in the 16-10 win on Overpass, advancing to the grand final.
Couldn't break out in OT
December 9, 2017
NiKo posted a 23/27 KD on Tuesday with a 19-15 loss to Fnatic in the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals.
NiKo got off to a quick 2-0 start in the defense of Inferno but Fnatic brought the score right back with four straight on the least-favored offense. However, NiKo regained control of the map with a stern hold on the B-bombsite as well as a quick rotation to bail the A-bombsite from a post-plant hold to even the 4-4 score. Both teams traded rounds as NiKo did what he could do to hold off the aggressive offense of FaZe, which turned into a two-round lead before taking the 8-7 half. A smooth start in the second half quickly turned into a trade of rounds once again, although Fnatic broke the economy and took map point advantage 15-11. NiKo had a little economy but the entry-kills allowed his team to get the much-needed bomb plant to reset the Fnatic economy. Forcing overtime, NiKo couldn't transfer his momentum into the extra rounds as Fnatic picked up the 19-15 win.
Leads FaZe to big win
December 6, 2017
NiKo put together a 21/10 KD in FaZe Clan's 16-5 win over Astralis on Day 2 of the ESL Pro League Finals.
It's hard to talk about FaZe Clan and not mention NiKo, and this game was no exception. He continues to be at the forefront of this multifaceted attack from FaZe, this time finishing at the top of just about every stat category in the match. He led in kills (21), damage (105 ADR), assists (6), and rating (1.72). It's a bit astonishing the high level of play that NiKo is able to bring game in and game out. With the rest of his team showing up to make some big plays along with him, FaZe could be in for a fruitful trip to Odense.
Couldn't overcome the veterans
November 19, 2017
NiKo posted a 97/75 KD in the 3-2 loss on Sunday against the Ninjas in Pyjamas in the grand finals of IEM Oakland.
In Game 1 of the grand finals, NiKo got the entry-kills but some rounds wouldn't transfer over into wins. After a frustrating first half, NiKo went into the second half with a deficit that never went positive as his individual plays weren't enough to take Game 1. NiKo went into Inferno with confidence as he picked up a team-leading 101.5 ADR in the 16-7 win. A smooth start to Train really got the ball rolling in Game 3 but NiP rallied back to steal the lead late. However, the second half was nothing for the offense of NiKo could do to help the team win more than three rounds to go down 2-1 in the series. Luckily, NiKo's playing grounds of Overpass were lined up for an easy win, despite his low number in frags with a 16/11 KD and 67.5 ADR in the 16-6 win, forcing Game 5 on Cache. The first half of Cache was tight early on but NiKo couldn't muscle to hold off the offense for a 9-6 deficit.
Silences OpTic in win
November 15, 2017
NiKo posted a 16/8 KD on Tuesday in a 16-3 win over OpTic Gaming in Group B of IEM Oakland.
NiKo started the best-of-one series with a quad entry kill on the A-bombsite to secure the pistol round. He then picked up two more rounds before OpTic got on the board, but that didn't phase him as he pounced on the defense to win seven consecutive rounds and take the 10-1 lead. NiKo consistently picked up an entry kill as more rounds would go his way for a 12-3 lead at the half. Going into the second half, NiKo cruised past the OpTic offense despite everything his opponents could throw at him. After sweeping the second half by four rounds, NiKo would conclude the game with a 79.7 ADR in the 16-3 win.
Unable to stop the dominance
October 15, 2017
NiKo put up a 41/33 KD on Friday in a 2-0 win over Astralis in the ELEAGUE Premier grand finals.
NiKo didn't have the greatest start on Cache as expected when Astralis came out of the gates with a stiff defense in the first half for a 12-3 lead. NiKo then got the ball rolling with a stern defense for himself to pick up a 22/23 KD and an 81.4 ADR to come back and take Game 1 16-14. Moving into Game 2, NiKo continued his defensive moves to hold out in a big first-half performance over Astralis' best maps, Overpass. His Round 2 triple pistol-kill with the desert eagle gave his team the momentum needed to take the first half by storm 12-3. Although Astralis came out with three rounds against, NiKo then opened up the bomb site to win four to close out the series with a 16-7 win to take home the title.
Pops back up for strong win
October 13, 2017
NiKo put up a 44/37 KD in FaZe Clan's sweep over North in the semifinals of the ELEAGUE Premier 2017.
NiKo had been the focal point of this team since he joined the team earlier this year, but with the addition of GuardiaN and olofmeister, his contributions haven't been needed as much. But this series was a bit different. While olof had the first game locked down, NiKo and GuardiaN cleaned things up in the second game. He led the team in KD and was generally playing on top of his game to lock up the sweep and push FaZe into the grand finals.
Quiet in Game 2
October 7, 2017
NiKo went 29/31 on Wednesday in a split with North 1-1 in ESL Pro League Season 6.
A stiff start on the offense for NiKo with a 2-0 lead for North but a force buy in Round 4 granted a round win. From there, NiKo got the entry-kills with a restored economy to put up four in a row to take the 4-2 lead. However, in Round 6 a flawed A-execute resulted for a round loss, which North took advantage of to close out the half 10-5. A dismal start in the second half resulted in North taking a massive four round 14-5 lead, putting NiKo at a state of emergency. Although NiKo helped pick up the first round of the half on a half-buy to win Round 20. From there, NiKo managed to pick up seven rounds straight on a broken North economy but it wasn't enough to close out the half with a 16-12 loss. NiKo had a flawless start to Game 2 of Inferno with a smooth pistol round win for the defense. From there, NiKo dominated on the defense to shut down North's attempt at getting into any bomb site for a 13-2 lead going into the second. NiKo's offensive side started slow but closed out the half winning three out of five rounds to earn the split, posting a 12/10 KD and an 80.5 ADR.
Quiet in 1-1 split
September 30, 2017
NiKo posted a 24/32 KD on Thursday with a 1-1 split against Ninjas in Pyjamas in ESL Pro League Season 6.
NiKo had a slow start on Cobblestone with a 3-0 deficit early on the defense, however, his Round 4 triple kill hold on the B-bombsite granted the team's first-round win. From there, only a few more rounds were won with the help of NiKo's 14/20 KD and 74.5 ADR. Down 11-4 at the half, NiKo picked up a couple of entry kills in the second half, but he quickly dwindled on the offense with a 16-6 Game 1 loss. Game 2 FaZe controlled the first half on the offense with a consistent lead over NiP, despite only a few frags from NiKo. With a 9-6 lead on Mirage, FaZe dominated the second half in fashion with seven out of eight rounds won to take home the split 1-1. However, NiKo only contributed a team-low 10/12 KD and 45.3 ADR in the 16-7 Game 2 win.
Outrageous in grand final sweep
September 18, 2017
NiKo went 68/31 on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Team Liquid in the grand finals of ESL One New York.
NiKo was insane during the grand finals with a 3-0 sweep, including his Game 1 first half seep 15-0. The start of Inferno went better than expected, a massive lead thanks to NiKo's Round 10 triple kill hold on the push to the A-bombsite and Round 13 quad kill hold on the B-bombsite. A rightfully earned 15-0 start finally resulted in a 16-3 win. NiKo started and finished Overpass with a huge save on the B-bombsite with a quad kill entry to lead 4-0. The first half resulted in another 11-4 start to the second half as NiKo contributed to the five-round blowout, including his triple kill to close out the map 16-14. In Game 3 on Mirage, NiKo contributed to a dominating defensive first half with a triple kill hold to close out the half 11-4. He then went on to close out the series and grand final with a five-round sweep in the second half 16-4.
Key eco round wins to secure map
September 2, 2017
NiKo solid with a 23/16 KD on Day 1 of DreamHack Masters Malmo with a 16-9 win over mouz.
NiKo got Day 1 started on Mirage with a double kill that secured the pistol round for the defense. He then followed up with another double kill in the following round to secure the A-bombsite and the 2-0 lead. NiKo was faced with economic struggles early on, however, that didn't matter to him as he picked up several opening kills and eco rounds won with a pistol. NiKo continued to make his defensive stance in the first half which provided the 9-6 lead at the half. NiKo remained consistent in the second half for FaZe getting the opening frags to have the early advantage in the 16-9 win.
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