Swedish version

NiKo on the community’s attitude toward his team mates: ”All they see is the score board. I don’t like it”

av Simon Engstrand
Foto: Adela Sznajder, Dreamhack
Foto: Adela Sznajder, Dreamhack

Bosnian star Nikola ”NiKo” Kovac have become one of the most praised CS:GO talents as of late.
However, while he and mousesports are breaking new grounds, his fellow team mates don’t seem to be getting as much recognition.
– I don’t like how people are talking about them. They don’t see how they influence the game. All they see is the score board. I don’t like it and I’m trying to work with the team and say they shouldn’t care about it, NiKo tells Aftonbladet Esport.

Mousesports have always been a household name in the esports. However, their ventures in the most recent Counter-Strike addition, Global Offensive, have not been easy.

The german based squad have long seemed to struggle in tournaments, often exiting in disappointing fashion early in the group stages. However, recently at Dreamhack Masters in Malmö, Sweden, the team managed to once and for all pull through and fight their way to playoffs.
– We felt much better than at the major, for sure, Mousesport star Nikola ”NiKo” Kovac says to Aftonbladet Esport.
– We started off really good and felt in great shape. We just tried to keep everything going but in the quarter finals we couldn’t keep it up.

Instead it was the Swedish newcomers in GODSENT, led by former Fnatic tactician Markus ”pronax” Wallsten, who managed to make it through the dramatic battle for a slot in the semi’s against NiP.
– I was really upset after the match. I was really surprised we lost against them, but we’ve always had problems against mid-tier teams and we just can’t seem to close the matches, not this time either.

During group stages, the casters pointed out that you guys almost seemed to be fighting with each other, while the other teams were just having fun and laughing. Is that something that happens in the team?
– We had some discussions during the match against Team Liquid, but we talked about it later and it was fine. It’s just that when we make a lot of mistakes we start having discussions in the team. It’s bad for us and we’re trying to not do it was much now.

Moving forward, NiKo hopes mousesports can continue to break new grounds and continue moving passed group stages.
– I think it was a big step for us to go through the Dreamhack Masters group stages and now it’ll be easier in the upcoming tourneys.
– It’s a mentality thing. Even when you’re playing you keep thinking ”what if we don’t move through”, ”what if we don’t reach playoffs”. You always think about it and now that we’ve managed it once I think it’ll be easier the next time. The pressure is off a little bit.

”I still haven’t taken the most important step”

About one year ago, mousesports first announced they had signed the Bosnian star. NiKo had been an up-and-coming name for quite some time and now was his time to shine on the world stage.
– It was the first step in my career, it was a really big and important step and I’m very glad I took it. Although, I was thinking a lot if should do it or not, because I always believed I could’ve made a team with players from my country. But i decided to join mousesports even though my English was really bad. Everything was really hard in the beginning, but now everything is better and it’s always getting better.
– My English have improved a lot, maybe even by 50 percent. I really like it and enjoy it a lot.

Since then NiKo have received praised from experts and fans alike. Some even say he’s got the potential to become the world’s best player.
– It feels great, of course, but I still haven’t taken the most important step, which is to get some really good results with the team. Once we’ve reached semifinals or finals I’ll be happy about everything.

On the subject of stardom, NiKo’s team mates haven’t exactly been getting as much recognition in the community – quite the opposite.

What do you think about the community’s attitude towards your mates?
– I don’t like how they’re talking about them. They don’t see their influence in game. All they see is the score board. I don’t like it and I’m trying to work with the team saying they shouldn’t care about it.
– For example Denis ”denis” Howell likes reading the threads and everything. I’m telling him not to care about it, you’re really important in our team – just keep it up and we’ll be good. The same goes for Chris ”ChrisJ” de Jong, he knows he’s not an onliner and he does perform on LAN. Also Johannes ”nex” Maget, he’s really good. He had some problems playing in front of crowds, but he played really well in Malmö.
– When someone says you’re playing bad, I think that can affect a player. For example entry-fraggers, they are dying to support the team but the fans don’t see that.

Do you think there’s any way you could explain so people understand better?
– I don’t think there’s any way, NiKo says and continues:
– They’ll always see the score board and that’s it. They need to understand every role in a team and that every player has their own unique roles. So don’t judge players just based on statistics guys.

What do Mousesports need to do in order to improve in the future?
– We have most problems with team play and communication. Especially in close matches everyone just panic in-game and we make stupid moves. That’s why we can’t close the matches. I hope we’ll improve now that we’ve moved past playoffs once.




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