NiKo says a new AWPer will ‘help [G2] take the next step’

"[AWPers] are the ones that have the most impact, I would say, so having a strong AWPer is what we miss."

Photo via G2 Esports

G2 Esports’ current CS:GO players are about to play their last tournament together at the BLAST Premier World Final this week. Not only will the season end, but roster changes are certainly taking place for the squad.

The French-Balkan project have been a solid contender throughout most of the year but didn’t lift any trophies. G2 came close and had several opportunities, though, most notably at IEM Cologne in July and PGL Stockholm Major in November, losing to Natus Vincere in the grand finals on both occasions.

In the weeks that followed the CS:GO Major, there’s been speculation regarding G2’s search for a dedicated AWPer. The sniper role was filled by François “AmaNEk” Delaunay after the benching of Kenny “kennyS” Schrub in March, but he’s struggled multiple times when facing some of the world’s specialists. French website reported on Dec. 10 that G2 has completed the signing of Na’Vi Junior’s star Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov and that AmaNEk is the most likely player to leave the active lineup.

Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač, G2’s main star since he joined the organization in October 2020, highlighted the importance of a new AWPer for the team in an interview with HLTV ahead of G2’s debut at the BLAST Premier World Final tomorrow against Ninjas in Pyjamas at 6:30am CT.

“[AWPers] are the ones that have the most impact, I would say, so having a strong AWPer is what we miss,” NiKo said. “I don’t want to blame AmaNEk or anything, he just took the role because he had to, but when we play against good AWPers we struggle a little bit because they have more experience and you need someone to shut those AWPers down. Bringing an AWPer in next year will help us take the next step. If we have an AWPer doing a really good job and putting up good numbers together with the numbers that me and huNter- are also putting up I think we’re going to be a very strong and consistent team.”

The arrival of a new sniper won’t be the only change to G2, it seems. NiKo told HLTV that the organization is also sorting out the head coach position. The position has been vacant since Nov. 16 when Damien “maLeK” Marcel mutually parted ways with G2.

The organization should announce its CS:GO lineup for next year by the end of 2021, according to NiKo.