Full Name: Nikola Kovač
Also known as: NiKolinho, nik0k0
Game(s): Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Current Team: G2 Esports
Ex Team: FaZe Clan, Mousesports, iNation, aimface, GamePub, Team Refuse, e-Sports.rs, myDGB
Date of Birth: February 16, 1997
Height: Approx. 6ft4 (195cm)
Weight: Approx. 177lbs (80kg)
Place of Birth: Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Relationship Status/Partners: N/A
Who is FaZe NiKo?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fans know him as NiKo, but his real name is Nikola Kovač. The young CS:GO prodigy was born on February 16, 1997, in Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is one of the best professional CS players in the world today. NiKo currently plays for G2 Esports, although he is most famous for his legendary FaZe Clan phase.
Among the gamer’s unique and most recognizable traits are his mechanical proficiency and team spirit. Much of the eSports community loves NiKo because of his team spirit and putting other players ahead of his score. Simultaneously, the Bosnian gamer also rose to prominence thanks to his deadly skill with the Desert Eagle but numerous other rifles. The CS rifler and lurker is among the hardest-working and consistently successful CS gamers, so here is his full story.
How did NiKo get famous?
Kovač’s first Counter-Strike bout occurred when the gamer was only nine years old, thanks to his parents introducing him to net cafes. The Bosnian marksman instantly displayed an incredible drive to be better than his competitors. Soon after starting to play CS, the gamer decided to build a local players team and finally joined the pro-CS circuit in 2013.
Following the first steps of his professional career, Kovač focused exclusively on reaching greatness with a regional roster. His dream was so inspiring that the gamer turned down the first offer to join Mousesports at 18. The gamer also deliberately hid the offer from his parents because he knew they would encourage him to accept.
However, NiKo’s goal of making it big with a regional roster remained unattained. Global success was too big of a challenge, so the gamer accepted the second offer from Mousesports in March 2015. With NiKo in the roster, ESL One: Cologne was the gamer’s debut as Team Mousesports’ big gun.
The young gamer already had a stellar reputation as the region’s best when he joined Mouse. However, the gamer’s first year with the roster proved more experimental than successful. The in-team chemistry was fine, but the squad lacked the firepower to take on more serious competitors. Regardless, Kovač’s deadliness with the Desert Eagle (and most other weapons) met no match in this period.
Carrying the team
Aware that there was plenty of potential for greatness, Mousesports management attempted to shuffle up the roster. In December 2015, the team’s primary shot caller, Gob D, departed from the squad. The weight of leading the team and creating the plays fell to NiKo just before the new year that would mark Mouse’s next era.
As expected, the Bosnian sharpshooter stole the show with his stellar performances starting with January 2016. However, the rest of the roster struggled to match NiKo’s gaming prowess. While the Bosnian gamer impressed with each game, Mouse couldn’t seem to shake their mid-of-the-pack mentality.
Competition stats supported this thesis. Despite winning the Ace Predator Masters Season 2, the squad finished 8th at ESL Pro League Europe Season 3, 9-12th at the MLG Major in Columbus, and 5-6th at the DreamHack Open Leipzig.
Without being affected by the team’s occasional glimpse of perfection, NiKo was the one who always delivered when it mattered most. It was clear to every spectator and CS enthusiast that the Bosnian gamer carried the rest of the squad on his back, one game after the other.
Always putting the team first
The second 2016 Major – ESL One: Cologne – saw the team qualify successfully, but their luck was short-lived. A 9-12 finish was far less than anyone on the Mousesports roster had hoped for, despite NiKo exceeding expectations yet again. The gamer pocketed 71 total kills and a 1.07 rating during the event.
However, his brilliant performance failed to make a difference for his team. On the other hand, the roster bounced back in time for the ELEAGUE Season 1, where they made it to the semifinals. With NiKo’s help, the team’s semifinal placement marked the best finish to-date with the Bosnian prodigy as a part of the roster.
The consensus in the aftermath of the two major competitions was evident: NiKo stood out as the world’s best CS player. However, the community also overwhelmingly agreed on another aspect: the rest of the Mousesports squad was slowly starting to hold the gamer back.
Despite being aware of the criticisms, the prodigious marksman didn’t want to leave his squad behind. The gamer’s reluctance to jump ship when the chips were down in favor of personal wins in other teams soon became his calling card. Instead of abandoning his Mousesports teammates, Kovač persisted in bringing the squad up to his level.
A heavy burden on the young gamer’s shoulders
NiKo maintained his deadly reputation through 2016, but Mousesports also continued struggling in the same mediocre manner. During ELEAGUE Season 2, the squad finished 5-8th, and the result was just barely better at the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals (3rd/4th).
At the beginning of 2017, the squad and everyone in the community anticipated the ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta as the tournament where Mousesports would finally shine. However, Lady Luck once again decided to favor other competitors. By that point, the squad was deep down a rabbit hole, and no amount of NiKo’s skill would be enough to land a win.
The event became a catastrophic failure for the roster. Not only did the team not make it past the group stage, but Mousesports finished the event, placing 12-14th.
NiKo debut in FaZe Clan
Devastated that his hard work bore no fruit and tired from carrying the entire Mousesports roster on his back, NiKo decided to leave the team in February 2017. The gamer became painfully aware that living up to his immense potential meant he would have to make a significant career change.
The choice fell to FaZe Clan in a move that would shake the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene to its core. At the time, FaZe Clan featured Karrigan as its main superstar. Part of why the signing was such a big deal in the community was the inherent risk of mixing CS:GO superstars. Regardless, NiKo and FaZe quickly proved a match made in heaven.
Starladder Season 3 in Krakow was the debut event of FaZe’s new lineup consisting of Rain, Karrigan, Allu, KioShima, and NiKo. There was no need to start slowly to test the waters because the new FaZe roster immediately took down Hellraisers, G2 Esports, and SK Gaming.
Landing one win after the other, NiKo’s and his new teammates found themselves in the final, but the real battle was only beginning. The legendary Astralis awaited the Bosnian marksman’s team in the duel. Finally, the grand final set the stage for NiKo to perform in front of his supporters’ community and the deadly Bosnian delivered.
Suffering through inconsistency
Free from the burden of carrying the rest of his team on his back, Kovač and his roster set their crosshairs on the next Major title in Krakow. But alas, Krakow would prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for the star-studded cast. Despite everyone’s high hopes, FaZe Clan lost to Mousesports and failed to make it out of groups.
By this point, it was clear that FaZe had what it took to reach the upper echelon of CS:GO. However, what needed to change was the recipe for in-team chemistry to get the right mix together. The team management recognized the opportunity to change the roster and traded Allu for GuardiaN, and obtained Olofmeister in another move that shook the CS community.
The newest iteration of FaZe Clan included Olofmeister, GuardiaN, Rain, Karrigan, and NiKo. The new cast represented a top-of-the-line roster even in the context of superteams.
However, not everything was a done deal. Despite the roster changes that signaled the team’s golden days, NiKo was at a crossroads. He would no longer need to act as the leader but change his instincts to serve as an equal-part team member and support the immense talent around him.
FaZe NiKo version 2.0
Rather than being team captain, the gamer had to push his ego aside and focus on being the young gun for the first time in his professional career. The new roster had to hone their chemistry through merely a couple of premier events ahead of the two next majors: the 2017 ELEAGUE Premier in Atlanta and the ESL One: New York.
Both events proved astonishing successes for the team. Besides pocketing both titles, the new FaZe Clan made winning into child’s play. Barely breaking a sweat, the talented roster depended on each other and finally found the right way to organize gameplay. It was no longer a matter of one player dragging the rest and ruining his nerves in the process. The pressure now rested equally on each team member’s competent, capable back.
The following events all marked wins as the team continued to increase its efficacy and efficiency. NiKo continued to stand out as the quintessential player holding the centerpiece mantle throughout the squad’s rise to fame. What caused an even more incredible thrill for spectators and his teammates alike was Kovač’s ambition to continue serving the team first and foremost.
Instead of blindly chasing after frags, the gamer put his stats in the backseat and raised the bar of what it meant to be a leader. His team spirit alone became one of his most extraordinary qualities and separated the gamer from countless equally talented gamers.
Quiet, humble, and prioritizing the team’s success over his score, NiKo became an iconic gamer that proved you can be a nice guy and simultaneously pile up wins. All eyes were on the gamer as he plowed through opponents, championships, and other challenges in his path. But luck would soon swipe the rug from beneath his feet once more.
The devastating Boston Major
Everything was going the right way for FaZe NiKo and his squad. The team’s chemistry was off the charts, opponents were falling left and right, and everyone already saw FaZe taking home the upcoming Boston Major.
In the New Challengers stage, Team Liquid and Natus Vincere both capitulated against FaZe 3-1. The New Legends stage featured SK Gaming, Vega Squadron, and Fnatic laying down their arms in the face of the almighty FaZe squad. Next up was the New Champions Stage, featuring the first bout between FaZe and NiKo’s former team Mousesports.
Once again, the Bosnian sharpshooter made easy work of his former team and faced Natus Vincere in the semifinals. In another display of jaw-dropping gaming prowess, NiKo helped his squad land a 2-0 win, and he came out of the battle with a 1.51 rating and +20 score over the two games.
The grand finals were the only battle left. What transpired during the war with young Cloud9 shook FaZe Clan and the rest of the community to their core. At the time, Cloud9 was a young team looking to make history by becoming the first North American franchise to land a Major win.
The war between David and Goliath stretched into three games, with Inferno as the final map. FaZe had trouble keeping up early in the game thanks to Cloud9 playing like crazy. The battle stretched into overtime, with Cloud9 making it clear they wouldn’t let FaZe make a comeback.
C9 opened up with an 18-15 lead, with FaZe responding in turn, but the young C9 proved luckier and ultimately took the win. Hearts broke throughout the arena and the community, with C9 making history and FaZe remaining a sidenote in the former team’s achievement.
FaZe NiKo: the continuous evolution
Following the catastrophic turn of events at the Boston Major final, FaZe pulled together and cemented their position as a top-rated CS pro team. Alongside Coldzera and S1mple, the community still sees NiKo as one of the best CS:GO players of all time.
Additionally, the Boston Major FaZe roster is still the most intimidating lineup in the team’s and game’s history. However, the professional eSports circuit changes rapidly and without warning, including Olofmeister’s subsequent series of competitive play breaks.
Olofmeister’s absence didn’t stop FaZe from taking home ESL One: Belo Horizonte and sending a reminder to the community that the team’s bite is just as scary as their bark. The message was loud and clear before the FACEIT London Major in September 2018.
Olofmeister was back in the roster for another shot at making history. Despite tripping right out of the gate (0-2), FaZe got their mojo back and landed three consecutive victories to make it for the elimination rounds. The devastating Astralis awaited in the quarterfinals, and the match turned into an all-out war with neither team holding back. But, Astralis came out on top and capped FaZe’s ambitions once more.
In October 2020, the Bosnian superstar signed with G2 Esports and marked an era in professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
FaZe NiKo streaming
The Bosnian CS:GO gamer frequently hosts live streams via his Twitch channel, where he has more than 437,000 followers. NiKo’s streams are an excellent way for aspiring young gamers to pick up gameplay tricks and philosophy, especially if they are looking to become professionals.
According to available information, NiKo is currently single. There is no record of the gamer being in a relationship at any point in his professional gaming career. The gamer’s social media profiles similarly do not reveal any partners or similar romantic interests.
NiKo net worth & finances
The Bosnian marksman is ranked #1 in highest earnings among Bosnian players and Herzegovina and #140 in highest overall profits. The largest cash prize NiKo has won from a single tournament was $100,000 at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017. The gamer has competed in 125 tournaments that awarded prizes to players.
NiKo’s yearly earnings from CS:GO tournaments are as follows:
2012 – $22.57
2013 – $580.00
2014 – $227.10
2015 – $16,082.92
2016 – $61,628.00
2017 – $301,857.14
2018 – $200,957.40
2019 – $118,500.00
2020 – $62,970.00
2021 – $5,500.00.
NiKo was born on February 16, 1997. The Bosnian professional gamer turned 24 in February 2021.
NiKo was born in Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The gamer has frequently changed his residence depending on his team, and his last known address was in Belgrade, Serbia. However, it is unclear whether Kovač still lives in Belgrade.
NiKo is approximately 6 feet 4 inches (195cm) tall and weighs around 177lbs (80kg).