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IEM Cologne Team Profile: G2 Esports

Zakaria Almughrabi

IEM Cologne, the second IEM Masters Championship of 2021, is set to begin on July 6th. G2 Esports is the highest-rated team from Europe in attendance. The French and Serb roster made waves in late 2020 with the acquisition of NiKo, one of the best players in the world. However, it took G2 a while to put together a winning formula. Their first three months of 2021 were rough, to say the least. Now, G2 is armed and ready to stake their claim for the Counter-Strike throne.

IEM Cologne G2

G2 Esports is a force to be reckoned with. They've improved greatly over the past four months and are ready to content for a title at IEM Cologne. (Image Credit G2)

Team: G2 Esports










In-Game Leader



Most Played Maps

Highest WR Map

Most Banned Map






Surging to the Top

G2’s competitive year started off on a slow note. Throughout their first four attended events, they only broke into the top six once with three top-eight finishes weighing them down. The day after G2’s exit from ESL Pro League Season 13, they announced that they were benching kennyS in order to give NiKo his preferred hybrid AWP/Rifler playstyle. This change paid off in spades. From that point on, G2 have not gotten less than top four in any tournament. They’ve looked far more cohesive as a squad and the results speak for themselves. DreamHack Masters Spring, IEM Summer, and BLAST Spring Finals were all tournaments where G2 was able to break into the LB Finals or Semifinals.

Keeping Up with The Kovač’s

The crown jewels of G2 Esports are the Kovač cousins, NiKo and huNter-. This duo is likely the best and most consistent two-man unit in Counter-Strike right now. Part of the reason for G2’s record-breaking offer to NiKo last year was the intent to bring these two together. Now, they’re tearing up the server every time they show up. NiKo and huNter- have averaged a 1.18 and 1.13 HLTV rating respectively over their past three months of success. Combined, their KD Difference is +342 over this span.

Nexa is G2’s in-game leader. He has earned the reputation as one of, if not the best fragging IGL in the game. His rating over the past three months is 0.99, just short of 1.00. While not amazing by itself, most IGL’s (who don’t also AWP) will seldom find themselves approaching this number.

The French duo of JaCkz and AmaNEk round out G2’s roster. While they are the two most inconsistent players on the team, they are both able to play their roles up to par and even find pop-off moments. AmaNEk especially fits this bill, as he is G2’s main support player who also picks up their secondary AWP on maps that allow for it.

Breaking the Last Barrier

G2 are one of the most improved rosters over the course of this year so far. Now that they are nearing the top of the summit, there is one final obstacle in their way. In their last four tournaments, three of their runs to the Finals have been ended by Gambit or Na’Vi. If G2 want to earn their first trophy of 2021 at IEM Cologne, they’ll have to step up their game one final time to take down one of the two favorites.

G2’s first match at IEM Cologne will take place on July 8th. Will they be able to complete their story arc and stand atop the competition?