Esports organization FaZe Clan has officially acquired Nikola ‘Niko’ Kovač for their CSGO roster. Niko was undoubtedly mousesports’ star player and has been argued as one of the best players in the world throughout 2016.
The departure will be official after DreamHack Las Vegas.
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) February 9, 2017
Niko expressed his great relationship with mousesports over the years. “I’ve had a great relationship with the organization, with my teammates, and especially with Cengiz,” Nikola stated. “FaZe Clan is massive but relatively new to eSports. With such an incredible fan base and the way they have come together as an organization over the year or so, the people I’ve met and the plans I’ve seen; this is a dream coming through.”
Mousesports CEO Cengiz Tüylü shared this sentiment on the official announcement:
After the major, NiKo approached us with the wish to join FaZe. We agreed that after all the effort he put in at mousesports it was time to search for a solution that would benefit everyone involved. Together with FaZe we were able to work out a mutually beneficial transfer. We see this as a big opportunity to rework our roster and build a much more homogenous mousesports team that our fans can get behind. We had a great time with Niko and I speak on the behalf of everyone at mousesports when I wish him the very best for his career and personal life.
It’s been rumored that Niko’s been held to mousesports on an extremely large buyout, towards the $1 million range. Niko had already incited fear from other teams while on an underperforming roster. Now, the Counter-Strike superstar now has a better chance to surge to the top of the professional scene.
Niko will replace Philip ‘aizy’ Aistrup, who departed FaZe Clan to complete an all-Danish roster with North. Recently benched Chris ‘chrisJ’ de Jong is believed to be filling the empty slot in mousesports. It’s unclear if de Jong will remain on the roster permanently.
UPDATE: NiKo’s buyout was reported by Dot Esports at around $500,000. His buyout was the highest ever in Counter-Strike history. Previously, ScreaM’s buyout from Gamers2 (now G2 Esports) to Titan was the largest buyout at $160,000. This only accounts for publicly documented transfers.