Our ‘History of Hiko’ concludes with the very last and most recent chapters of the legendary player’s career. To explain how he made his way to VALORANT, we have to go all the way back to 2016.
Team Liquid had just suffered one of the most horrifying losses, and it was still the start of the year. There was another Major to follow and a flurry of tournaments before and after. They had to grind and come back.
A mixture of good and bad performances over the summer meant Liquid were more or less in a similar position. They did not win any international titles, but they had enough talent for them to be one of the favorites to win the second Major of 2016.
They survived the group of death, beating kennyS’ Envyus and mouseports to reach the playoffs, whilst losing only to VP as the first ranked team in the intense group. After NaVi eliminated NiP in the group stages, it was Liquid that beat s1mple’s future team to reach the semi-finals where they faced a similar foe: fnatic. It was 2016 and Hiko had probably the most talent around him than he ever had. This was not a time to lose. And not lose they did. A dominant 2-0 victory over fnatic in the semi-finals set them up on a date with the newer fiend in coldzera and co. LG’s roster had moved to SK Gaming and played under a different name, but the players remained the same. As Tyche would have it, Liquid did not even stand a chance. They were beaten 16-7 and 16-6 by coldzera’s team, who was subsequently named MVP of the tournament.
Another year, another month, another heartbreak. Hiko had come so close and yet the taste of true glory eluded him. Team Liquid spiraled off after this event. In a few months, s1mple decided to return home and join NaVi. Though he had quit on his own terms, it was rather sure that s1mple’s tenure wasn’t the one to last. His attitude issues, which Hiko really improved over the year being his mentor, were still causing internal friction too hot to bear. The fundamental misalignment in the team’s cracked mentality had begun to show, and it was good that s1mple, even for all his godlike talent, had left.
The gamble on the unstable pack of bright stars had not paid out as expected.
After parting ways with Liquid, Hiko sat idle on his PC, streaming, whilst looking for a club. An opportunity presented itself when Rogue gave him the chance to build his very own roster. 2017 was spent trying different things and solving internal issues and needless to say, nothing big happened on the server. 2018 was a little better and Rogue started getting into playoffs and started competing, but the silver medal curse was only waiting for Hiko. They did qualify for the 2018 FACEIT Major in London but fell short in the New Challengers Stage after losses to Astralis, Spirit, and North. The trajectory thereafter was a downward one and eventually, Hiko departed from Rogue on 10th May 2019, drawing a curtain on the not-so-illustrious career of an extremely talented star.
In all the months that he had sat idle, Hiko found his one true love. Streaming. Hiko is a natural entertainer who can appeal to both high-level players, all the while educating the low-level, new players. He is one of those one-in-a-million people who can immediately entice and hook people. But Hiko is more than that. He is a ruthless competitor. Despite having dust in his trophy cabinet, his zeal for competition and for winning is barely matched. He wanted to play. He wanted to compete. He wanted to win. But CS:GO could not cater to such an old player anymore. It seemed like he has been forced to step away from the limelight he deserved, into the shadows without the trophy he has yearned for.
But magically, a chance to turn it all around presented itself. It was like the gods of esports had blessed upon him this final opportunity. Hiko rode on his horse onto a dusty road to reach the fortress that would present him with the love he deserved. VALORANT had been released. Playing and streaming the beta versions, one of CS:GO’s finest competitors had lured their finest upset. Hiko caught the eye of esports fans migrating from many different games and among the VALORANT scene, Hiko shone the brightest.
100Thieves entered the scene. Only two days after its official release, VALORANT witnessed 100T signing Hiko for their roster. The dream move did not work out well in the beginning. A rough start and roster issues saw 100T replacing all 100T members except Hiko. Things seemed to go as they used to be in CS:GO. But with this new roster that was stabilized in October of 2020, 100T really hit the ground running. Hiko was the captain of the team boasting ex-CS:GO pro steel and ex-CS:GO Liquid teammate, nitro.
On 6th December 2020, 100T beat TSM 3-1 at the First Strike NA tournament to be crowned the region’s first official champions. Hiko had finally won a top-tier, major tournament. This is just their beginning. After losing in the Grand Finals to FaZe back in March in Champions Tour 2021: North America Stage 1 Challengers 3 this year, they bounced back with another trophy win in April by defeating XSET 3-1 in Champions Tour 2021: North America Stage 2 Challengers 1. The long-awaited salvation was found at the dying moments of a year we all would love to forget.
Things are finally looking bright for Hiko. Tyche has finally conceded defeat in front of the man that never gave up, despite a whole decade of defeats and disappointment. Hiko has tamed the goddess, and as a 31-year-old, he has been reborn.