G2 Esports’ star rifler Nikola "NiKo" Kovac who was the fourth-best CS:GO player in the world last year, as per HLTV’s ‘Top 20 players of 2020’, was about to join an Indian team 6-7 years ago around late 2014 - early 2015. In a recent stream, retired Indian CS:GO players Vishal “haiVaan” Sharma and Tejas "Ace" Sawant spoke about the time when NiKo was in talks with an Indian CS:GO team, and the deal only fell apart because the salary he demanded was way too high as per Indian standards at the time. Other than that everything else was fine, in fact, NiKo was more than ready to move to India in order to compete in the region.
That time when NiKo was about to play CS:GO in India
Team Wolf is one of the most popular CS:GO teams in India who had managed to qualify for the Major tournament ‘ESL One: Cologne 2014’. At the time, they were coached for a short amount of time by the 34-year-old Serbian Aleksandar "kassad" Trifunovic, and though the team did not manage to win a single match in Cologne they managed to establish a good connect with kassad.
According to haiVaan, Ritesh "RiTz" Shah who was a member of Team Wolf and had a good connect with kassad, inquired about any international CS:GO player who could bring firepower and talent to their team. The answer was NiKo, who at the time was an upcoming player and was climbing the ranks to reach ‘Tier-One’ Counter-Strike action.
The 3 of them - RiTz, kassad, and NiKo even had a Skype call as the Bosnian was apparently ready to move to India. NiKo was building a name for himself at the time and wanted exposure, so the move seemed like a logical step for him as Indian teams used to play in multiple Asia level tournaments back then.
But even after the call and mutual interests, the deal fell apart because of the salary demand. As per the conversation that took place on the stream, NiKo had demanded a salary of around $5,000 - $6,000 USD (2,97,379.5 - 3,56,855.4 INR) which had gone down to a minimum offer of around $3,000 (1,78,427.7 INR), but the Indian organization could not afford to pay him that much due to the state of esports within the country at that point of time.
This is the whole story behind how NiKo who is currently one of the best CS:GO players in the world was about to join an India CS:GO team and play in the region, during the early phase of his career.
The conversation about NiKo which took place in the stream above, is not the first time that this incident is being told publicly. Earlier, Siddhant 'Sid' Joshi who is TSM Entity's Manager had spoken on this topic in August 2018.