After overcoming the biggest threat of the tournament in FaZe, G2 is through to the final stage of the BLAST World Final in Abu Dhabi. In the aftermath of their revenge match, BLIX spoke with Nikola “NiKo” Kovač about the key components of the game.
On the CT side of their map pick of Nuke, G2 was down 14-10 after just having lost a force-buy. With measly pistols to defend against matchpoint, G2 made the unthinkable happen as they brought the fully bought FaZe down with a lobby crunch. It resulted in a complete shift in momentum as HooXi’s men managed to close out the first map after that upset round.
“We didn’t really have much options. We just decided to push lobby." Niko explained. "We had that round and we just felt like the right time to do it. They definitely were not ready for it. I think we killed two or three guys when they were throwing nades, so yeah I would just say it was a good call at a good time”
Justin " jks " Savage was a brick wall against FaZe’s ramp aggression as his multi-kill rounds helped G2 to find early footings on the first map and ensured G2 got off on the right foot on their CT side. His 133 ADR on the defensive side helped him soar up to the top of the scoreboard after the end of the first map.
“jks definitely helped us get over the edge on that map." Said Niko "He definitely had a couple of holds where he killed two or three guys. Even the clutch as well versus rain where he almost had no chance and he somehow made it work. So yeah, he definitely helped us close out the game on Nuke.”
Down 11-4 on the second map Inferno, G2 strung together 7 rounds in a row and made the comeback happen against the best CT side of 2022. We asked NiKo about the mental resilience of the team.
“I mean, first of all, we kept believing at the start of the second half. We knew that we had things that can work against them and the thing. It always helps that we had a great start in the second half." He explained. "And I think everyone had big rounds on this map. Hooxi had good calls, we had good entries and the most important thing was that we actually managed to close out the close rounds. The last game that we played against them, it didn’t happen. They won most of the clutches and this time around we were the ones who won those clutches and it's one of the reasons why we won.”
Despite the difference in the number of titles achieved this year, G2 has had FaZe’s number more often than not. In the 5 times the two teams have faced each other, G2 has emerged victorious in 3 of them with a 2-1 in BLAST Spring Final 2022, a 2-0 in ESL Pro League Season 16, and now a 2-0 in BLAST World Final 2022. NiKo emphasized how the team has always felt invigorated playing against FaZe.
“Well, I think everyone is extra motivated against them as they are probably the best team in the world throughout the whole year, and every time you play against them you want to beat them. So yeah, there’s definitely extra motivation when you play them.”
NiKo’s 17 entry attempts in the two maps were the highest in his team. He managed to open up rounds which helped the rest of the team to convert some crucial rounds. He spoke to us about how losing JACKZ has affected the team.
“Losing JACKZ means that we had to switch something." He explained. "Hooxi is the main entry fragger who is running in first. If he is not doing it I’m doing it. So it’s me or him running in first depending on the position in the round.”
After this win against FaZe, G2 was just one win away from claiming their only title of the year in Abu Dhabi. But will that be enough to make up for missing his first Major?
“If we win... no we are not going to be satisfied with the last 6 months. But definitely, it's a good ending to the year I would say. But the whole year has been a mess for us and we can’t say we can be satisfied. It's a good tournament to win but we need to continue that in the next year.”
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Feature Image: PGL