Mousesports’ Bosnian star Nikola “NiKo” Kovač was always considered to have incredible potential. But despite being just 19 years of age, he might already be demanding the status of one of the best players in the world, clutching rounds and carrying his team. Yet with such a raw talent in your ranks, understanding how to utilise his talents becomes invaluable knowledge. For all the possible solutions to Mousesports’ problem, making NiKo the in-game leader is definitely not one of them.
The Bosnian wonder-kid is not specialised on just one particular weapon. If you’re low on cash, he may well purchase a desert eagle and fight bravely, often successfully against rifles. During a high-octane gun round, he is able to wield both the M4 and the AK47 expertly, not to mention that his skills with the AWP are sufficient to be an AWPer for a top level team.
Facing off against NiKo is the equivalent of the enemy calling in an airstrike on your exposed position. But despite his lethal abilities, Mousesports ignored all the facts and unnecessarily burdened their star man; using NiKo as the in-game leader. It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t expect your IGL to grab frags. The IGL’s main role is to determine which strats will be used on that particular round and to change the tactics mid-rounds – how could NiKo focus on fragging while he has to consider the movement of an entire squad?
Credit to NiKo, unlike almost every other IGL on display at Dreamhack, the Bosnian was still fragging at an unparalleled level, but his dominant statistics could have been accentuated without the need to think for four other teammates. Making your star player the IGL shows the same level of tactical nouse as invading Russia during the winter. Finally on June 9, the penny finally dropped and Mousesports unleashed the beast – it was as simple as adding Aleksandar “Kassad” Trifunovic as coach.
— ELEAGUE (@EL) 14 July 2016
All hopes of witnessing such a glaringly beneficial decision weren’t initially high – given that, at one point, the German team had left NiKo rotting on the bench – but they’ve acted smartly and signed a coach that will act as the team’s In-game Leader. The last five weeks have proved to idyllic for NiKo and despite an unlucky major, the future looks promising for Mousesports.
As Kassad and the other players mould together slowly but steadily, it might be the time for other teams to beware. It’s not unfeasible to expect a number of 30-bombs from a Mousesports team that does well not only at major qualifiers, but surges as a force to be reckoned with at prestigious events.