G2 and FaZe CSGO in talks over NiKo buyout: Report - Dexerto
CS:GO

G2 and FaZe CSGO in talks over NiKo buyout: Report

Published: 18/Sep/2020 15:11

by Connor Bennett

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G2 and FaZe Clan have reportedly opened talks over a blockbuster deal for CS:GO superstar Niko ‘NiKo’ Kovac, with it potentially being finalized in the “coming weeks.”

After briefly scaling the CS:GO world rankings and achieving the coveted #1 spot for the first time in years, G2 have been looking to get back on top and assert themselves as the best around. 

Though they are currently in the Top 10, their results have been faltering with a string of recent losses to AGO, BIG, Ence, and Heroic in ESL Pro League. 

While some teams might consider a small tweak to get themselves out of a rut, it appears as if G2 are pushing all their chips to the middle of the table and going all-in on a chase FaZe Clan’s NiKo. 

G2 CSGO roster at BLAST
BLAST
G2’s roster conquered the CSGO world for a few weeks, but are aiming to return to winning ways.

According to a report from French CSGO insider NeLdirket and HLTV, G2 and FaZe have opened talks about a move that would see NiKo join his cousin Nemanja ’huNter-’ Kovač on G2’s roster. 

Signing NiKo, who has been with FaZe since joining from Mousesports back in 2017, would undoubtedly require a huge transfer fee – most likely, the biggest in Counter-Strike history to date.

Both sources note that if the deal does indeed go through, it would likely be François ‘AmaNEk⁠’ Delaunay on chopping block for G2, meaning that KennyS, Jackz, Nexa, and huNter- would all retain their spots.

NiKo and Hunter holding shirts
Twitter: FaZeNiko
The move would see the Kovac cousins finally join forces.

While the deal is seemingly not imminent, it could “be finalized in the coming weeks” according to the report, once both teams have made their way through a grueling slog of fixtures in Pro League, IEM New York 2020 Europe, and DreamHack Open Fall 2020.

There’s no telling what the deal would mean for FaZe’s roster, given that they recently acquired Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjaerbye and allowed Aurimas ‘Bymas⁠’ Pipiras to depart for Mousesports. 

If the deal goes through, both teams rosters would look like: 

G2

  • NiKo
  • KennyS
  • huNter-
  • Nexa
  • Jackz
  • Amanek (Bench)

FaZe

  • Coldzera
  • Rain
  • Kjaerbye
  • Broky
CS:GO

IEM Katowice 2021 quarterfinals preview

Published: 24/Feb/2021 18:21 Updated: 24/Feb/2021 20:02

by Andrew Amos

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IEM Katowice 2021 has already served up some amazing matchups, and now the quarterfinals are upon us. With CIS supremacy sweeping the CS:GO server, Astralis stand as the lone force to try and stave the three Russian squads away.

Six teams have qualified for the playoffs at IEM Katowice 2021, and four of them are from CIS. Gambit, Natus Vincere, and Virtus.pro are hungry for quarterfinals success, while Spirit awaits one of them in the semifinals.

It’s put more pressure now, more than ever, onto two stalwarts of their respective scenes ⁠— Denmark’s (and Europe’s) Astralis, and North America’s Liquid. The latter looks reinvigorated with Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo in the squad, while the former are struggling to reach their peak online.

Ahead of this weekend’s action, let’s take a look at the two quarterfinals ⁠— Gambit vs Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro vs Astralis ⁠— and what you should expect.

Gambit vs Natus Vincere

The battle for CIS supremacy will reign on in the quarterfinals of IEM Katowice when Gambit takes on Natus Vincere. This has been a historically Na’Vi-sided matchup, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

Gambit went on a lower-bracket tear to make it to the quarterfinals of IEM Katowice, and they won’t let their rivals stand in their way. Young gun Dmitry ‘sh1ro’ Sokolov is really trying to make a name for himself as CS:GO’s next big AWPer, trying to reach the heights of idols like Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Vastyliev.

Natus Vincere Socios s1mple

Seeing the two face off will be a treat in this quarterfinal, but don’t expect the reigning champions to take it easy. Na’Vi are really finding their stride now, and despite losing to Team Liquid to find themselves in this position, you can’t keep them down for long.

Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov and s1mple are bouncing off each other better than ever, and it really feels like a repeat of IEM Katowice 2020 is on the cards. Na’Vi didn’t make it easy for themselves there in groups, before proceeding to demolish Liquid, Astralis, and G2 Esports without dropping a single map in playoffs.

Gambit’s going to have to be prepared for a Na’Vi they’ve never faced before. It’s the biggest stage this matchup has happened on, and while the potential for an upset is there, you’d have to back Na’Vi to finish strong at Katowice.

Thrive Props

  • Ax1le: 28.5 total kills
    • Over = 90 points
    • Under = 110 points
  • Hobbit: 43.5 total deaths
    • Over = 110 points
    • Under = 90 points
  • Electronic: 6.5 total assists
    • Over = 95 points
    • Under = 105 points
  • Flamie: 18.5 total headshots
    • Over = 105 points
    • Under = 95 points
  • S1mple: 75.5 total kills and deaths
    • Over = 100 points
    • Under = 100 points

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Virtus.pro vs Astralis

Virtus.pro and Astralis marks the first rematch of the StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 final. Back then, Astralis were decimating anyone in their patch, and VP (then Avangar) were collateral as the Danes took home their fourth major. However, it’s funny how things change in 18 months.

Astralis’ experimentation with six and seven-man rosters has led nowhere, and with the core five back together, they’ve been struggling to get back into gear. Virtus.pro, on the other hand, has started 2021 on fire with a win at cs_summit 7 (where Astralis didn’t play).

One also has to look at how far Virtus.pro has come since then. “Jame Time” might still be the slogan, but everyone from Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov to Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Galinskis have been pulling their weight. The team isn’t as reliant on Jame’s AWP to win as they once were, and he’s taken to the IGL role like a fish to water.

If there is one time where Virtus.pro could get their revenge, it’s now. VP have taken down Vitality and FURIA ⁠— two of the best teams in the world ⁠— to get here, and Astralis have been hot and cold to start off the year. The tournament remaining online likely doesn’t help Astralis either.

However, you can never count out the Danes. Much like Gambit vs Natus Vincere, the real big ticket matchup will be Jame vs Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz. The AWPers will once again prove to be the deciding factor in this matchup, and if history is anything to go by, it should be explosive.

Thrive Props

  • Buster: 45.5 total kills
    • Over = 115 points
    • Under = 85 points
  • Sanji: 32.5 total deaths
    • Over = 80 points
    • Under = 120 points
  • Magisk: 9.5 total assists
    • Over = 100 points
    • Under = 100 points
  • gla1ve: 13.5 total headshots
    • Over = 90 points
    • Under = 110 points
  • Device: 88.5 total kills and deaths
    • Over = 110 points
    • Under = 90 points

The IEM Katowice 2021 quarterfinals get underway on February 26.


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