Counter-Strike - Esports News - February 8, 2024

NiKo from Faze Clan: “We have a similar map pool and similar strong maps, so we’ll see.”

G2 has another shot at the 2024 IEM Katowice title. We got a chance to talk to NiKo about the upcoming series with Faze Clan and who he’ll be playing in the finals.

Niko g2 IEM KatowiceNiko g2 IEM Katowice

Credit: Filip Kicurovski /

Sophie McCarthy: First of all, nice to meet you and congratulations on making it this far in the tournament.

What do you think about it so far?

Nico: Nice to meet you too and thank you. I feel good, I always feel good. I’m glad we made it to the playoffs. Yes, everything is going in the right direction.

Sophie McCarthy: It was a little different from this time last year, when we beat everyone 2-0 heading into the final and faced a tougher opponent in the quarterfinals.

So how do you prepare for a series with Faze Clan?

Nico: Yes, we were definitely better as a team last year. But I think we can go deeper into the playoffs and win based on our performance in the group stage so far. It would probably be better if we broke it down into smaller pieces.

Talking about Faze, the game in general is always very exciting. We have a similar style, and I think it’s always a good game to watch. Yes, I’m looking forward to going to Spodek and playing against them.

It would also be great to have TaZ behind us. I’m really looking forward to the match because NEO is there and the crowd seems to be excited.

Sophie McCarthy: And series with Faze tend to be quite long. We usually gain some over time. You played a lot of Nuke in this tournament, and you also played Faze.

Do you think you can remove them from Nuke?

Nico: I haven’t talked much about the Power of Veto, but both teams feel pretty good about Nuke. I think it will be in the map pool, but I don’t know if it will be the decider or if one of us will choose it. Like I said, I don’t get too involved in it.

I don’t think we’ve talked about it yet because I finished late last night and started my media work early. I think there is a similar pool of maps. And I think we have similarly strong guidance. So let’s take a look.

Sophie McCarthy: So I wanted to ask many of the players we spoke to whether they actually said they preferred playing in play-ins rather than playing in groups.


Credit: Filip Kicurovski /

What do you think about play-in vs. group play?

Nico: I think there are definitely advantages and disadvantages. I think if you play and get through to the end and get through the group stage as well, it’s good because you get to play more games and feel more prepared. But of course, if you fail the play-in, it won’t be the best feeling.

But it certainly has both great pros and cons. If you don’t play, you have more time to practice and more time to relax. But if you want more games, I think it’s a good idea to play through them and continue to improve with each game.

Sophie McCarthy: So currently we have three teams in the top bracket.

If you could pick one person to face in the finals, who would it be and why?

Nico: I mean, if I could pick one team to play in the finals, I think it would be great to play against ENCE in the finals because they have a big crowd. And I think they’re probably the least favorites to make the finals.

But I think it would be nice to play with them. I think Spirit will be the hardest opponent to play against. But the Falcons are in the finals. I think they were able to get through it because of their experience.

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