Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić has taken over as BIG’s interim head coach for their upcoming stretch of tournaments, Dexerto has learned. The 30-year-old is no stranger to the role, having guided the team between 2018 and 2019 across two spells.
LEGIJA has taken over head coaching duties from Dustin ‘DuDe’ Großmann, who is taking a break from his role due to personal reasons.
It’s unclear at this point how long DuDe will be out for, but it’s believed that his period on the sidelines will spill over into October, which will potentially see him miss PGL Major Stockholm if the team manage to qualify for the event.
DuDe has been part of BIG’s coaching staff since October 2020, when he was hired as an assistant to Tobias ‘tow b’ Herberhold. He became the team’s head coach in January after tow b stepped down from the role due to personal reasons.
Familiar with the job
LEGIJA has coached many teams over the years, including BIG themselves across two spells between 2018 and 2019. He also played for the team for little over a year between 2017 and 2018, notably helping them to reach the playoffs at PGL Major Kraków.
He took over as Envy coach in January 2020, but just six months later, he was forced to return to a playing role within the team due to their ongoing roster issues.
LEGIJA finished out the season with Envy before the North American organization decided to disband the roster and halt their investment in Counter-Strike. He has been inactive ever since.
BIG have been placed in Group B of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, alongside G2, MIBR, and NIP. They will take on the Swedish team, headlined by four-time Major winner Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz, in their first match, scheduled for September 20.
The German team are well positioned to qualify for the Major as they currently sit seventh in the European RMR rankings ahead of IEM Fall, which will run between September 29 and October 10.