NiKo - biography, career and interesting facts
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Nikola "NiKo" Kovač was born on 16 February 1997 in Bosnia and has long been known for his great mechanical skills. The 23-year-old (as of Dec. 2020) began his Counter-Strike career back in 2011 and has since then played in numerous top teams.
In the past, Nikola also played under names like NiKolinho and nik0k0. Probably unique among the world's top players is that NiKo's cousin huNter- not only also plays CS:GO at a top level, but is even signed to G2 together with Nikola.
While NiKo also took on the role of IGL for a long time during his time with FaZe Clan and also Mousesports, he prefers to play Lurker, according to his own statements. Furthermore, he prefers the Rifle, but has already proven several times that he is also at a top level with the AWP.
The Bosnian uses his social media rather sporadically. While there are regular updates on the current CS:GO games on Twitter, he streams relatively frequently on his Twitch channel. On Instagram, Nikola shows himself a little more privately and showed, for example, his little sister Jovana and regularly poses together with his dog. NiKo practically never uses Facebook.
NiKo - Career
While in his first year as a Counter-Strike player he was signed to rather unknown teams and didn't really have any tournament success worth mentioning, he was signed by the Serbian team iNation in 2012, where he spent his first year in a CS:GO team. At that time he played together with kassad, YNk and emi. The first two players mentioned are today best known for their great successes as coaches. The iNation team was to accompany Nikola for some time to come. The Bosnian was signed to the team four times.
His first really notable organisation was Mousesports, which he joined in 2015. With a short break, NiKo played a total of around two years with the originally German organisation and made his big breakthrough there. After some great performances, NiKo was signed by FaZe Clan in February 2017 for a record transfer fee of around 500,000 USD (source: Shooter-szene.de). At FaZe Clan, NiKo was to experience the most successful period of his career to date. Numerous S-Tier tournament victories and major participations were the balance of a great 3 ½ years with one of the biggest esport organisations in the world.
Then, at the end of 2020, the seemingly impossible happened. NiKo left the team after a poor season and moved to G2 Esports. The decisive reason for the transfer was his cousin huNter-, who wanted to continue playing at G2. According to his own statements, Nikola was very interested in a transfer to Cloud9, together with his cousin.
NiKo - Achievements
NiKo had to wait a long time for his first S-tier tournament success. In 2017, he won the StarLadder i-League Season 3 together with the FaZe Clan and thus his first big tournament.
In total, NiKo took part in nine major tournaments, but the majority of these were not marked by success. The only real exception was a second place finish at the ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018. At the time, NiKo finished second with FaZe Clan and was only defeated by Cloud9 in the third overtime on the third map Inferno. Probably the most painful defeat of his career so far.
All in all, NiKo's tournament earnings are estimated at around USD 750,000 and in addition to countless S-Tier successes, the Bosnian has numerous individual awards to his name. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, NiKo secured two MVP awards at major tournaments each year and has also been in the HLTV Top-20 Rankings every year since 2016. The only thing missing in Nikola's collection is a success at a major tournament.