Back in September 2021, Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen was one of the 37 CS:GO coaches banned for using the infamous spectator bug. His initial suspension was reduced by four months after a review by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC). In early July, ESIC received a notification that HUNDEN had "allegedly engaged in behaviour that could be classified as a breach of ESIC’s Integrity Program."
To make it clear, this alleged behaviour is basically HUNDEN sharing sensitive information with a competing organization ahead of IEM Cologne, without the Heroic team knowing about it, while still under the Heroic banner.
This behaviour, according to ESIC, "threatened harm to the reputation and competitive integrity of esports" which is why HUNDEN has received a two-year ban.
HUNDEN banned by ESIC following an investigation
The report on the sanction outcome follows a two-month investigation by ESIC and was made public on 27th August 2021.
ESIC mentions a public statement made by HUNDEN on 28th July, in which the ex-Heroic CS:GO coach states: "The material I have shared is anti-strat material of opponents…"
This was seen as a public admission by ESIC, and in conjunction with other evidence collected via the course of their investigation, led to "sufficient grounds for a prosecution under ESIC’s Code of Conduct which applied to this situation by virtue of it occurring during the period of and related to the ESIC member event, IEM Cologne, and in which Mr Petersen’s employer team, Heroic, was competing."
REGARDING RECENT RUMOURS: pic.twitter.com/Ni1FgkuUhQ— Nicolai Petersen (@hundencsgo) July 28, 2021
HUNDEN did further deny sharing Heroic's stratbook, and explained how the anti-strat material was shared with colleagues from other teams "in the context of sparring".
It is important to note at this point that Heroic itself issued a statement late in July 2021, alleging that HUNDEN "blocked the team members’ access to the team strategy folder" and "shared confidential and sensitive information from our strategy folder with a key individual at a major competitor prior to the tournament", and how the organization has reported HUNDEN to ESL and ESIC.
ESIC notes that HUNDEN had the opportunity to respond to their Notice of Charge, but failed to provide ESIC with any "reply of substance relevant to the charge made against him."
Following the complete investigation, ESIC has banned HUNDEN from competing in ESIC member events for two years. HUNDEN can return on 25th August 2023.
Following the completion of the investigation, ESIC observed that:
- Mr Petersen was in the process of negotiating a career move from Heroic to the opposing team;
- Mr Petersen did, in fact (and by his own admission), send information to the opposing team that, at the very least, included information such as anti-strategy materials relating to Heroic’s opponents as well as other sensitive and potentially useful (to an opponent) information;
- The recipient had not, as a matter of forensic evidence available to date, accessed the information;
- Accordingly, IEM Cologne was not considered compromised from a competitive integrity standpoint;
- However, in sharing anti-strategy materials, amongst other potentially sensitive and useful data and information, with the opposing team during:
- Mr Petersen’s employment with Heroic;
- Mr Petersen’s transition or negotiation of career movement to that opposing team;
- Heroic’s upcoming attendance of IEM Cologne (in which it may have faced opponents which were the subject of the anti-strategy materials); and
- Mr Petersen’s knowledge of the opposing team’s attendance of the same event;
According to the ESIC report, HUNDEN's behavior:
- Created a threat to the integrity of an ESIC member event (irrespective of whether or not that threat materialised);
- Created a threat to the reputation of an ESIC member (irrespective of whether or not that threat materialised); and in doing so
- Threatened harm to the reputation and competitive integrity of esports, and ESIC’s member ESL.
In an interview with TV2.dk, HUNDEN said: "Right now there is nothing called Counter-Strike for me after this" and it is clear the Danish coach is devastated by the decision.
It remains to be seen if HUNDEN will attempt to appeal the ban.
Interestingly, HUNDEN also made claims in the interview that some players on the Heroic squad knew he was using the spectator bug back in the day...
We will keep you updated if any more information regarding HUNDEN's claims and ESIC's ongoing investigations become available.
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Header image via TV2.dk.