European Counter-Strike team FaZe Clan has acquired Mousesports superstar Nikola “NiKo” Kovač, according to multiple sources close to the player and organization. It is believed recently benched AWPer Chris “chrisJ” de Jong will replace NiKo, at least in the short term. It’s unclear if he will be a permanent replacement.
NiKo will replace departing rifler Philip “aizy” Aistrup, who announced earlier Wednesday his arrival on North. It has been rumored for months that a buyout for NiKo extended into the $1 million range, though the details for this agreement are not known. The alleged hefty buyout has been commonly noted as part of what has kept NiKo with Mousesports for this long.
The move will likely be announced by lunchtime ET Thursday.
After being in the discussion among the best players in the world for parts of 2016, NiKo will now be able to once again focus on his individual play without having to in-game lead. His raw skill and versatility make him one of the most mechanically gifted players to ever touch CS:GO. Only time will tell if NiKo will be the spark FaZe needs going forward and progress beyond the quarterfinals of the Major, where they lost at the ELEAGUE Major in Atlanta last month.
Slingshot has reached out to mousesports and FaZe Clan for comment.
Cover photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE