The CSGO esports industry was dealt another blow today at the hands of ESIC, the Esports Integrity Commission. In recent weeks, the CSGO landscape has been under fire, following a string of malicious behavior, including match-fixing. Now, prolific CSGO coach Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen has been handed a two-year ban following a severe breach of conduct.
HUNDEN has been a relatively consistent presence in the realms of CSGO since 2009. Throughout his long and storied career, he’s played for a huge assortment of teams and has picked up some remarkable wins. In 2020, HUNDEN effectively retired from active competition to take on a coaching role. His first stop was with the Danish organisation, Heroic, which he joined in April of 2020.
However, his brief stint at coach wouldn’t last all that long, as in September of 2020, HUNDEN was named in an ESIC cheating investigation. It was alleged that HUNDEN was one of 37 CSGO coaches that were utilising a known bug to spectate on the enemy team and gain a competitive advantage. Although he was found guilty by ESIC, his one-year-long ban was shortened to just six months, owing to him ‘assisting with the investigation’.
And So, Deja Vu
At the tail end of July, HUNDEN ceased his coaching role at Heroic. Then, mere weeks later, it was revealed that he’d been the core subject of an ESIC investigation into a severe breach of conduct.
Reportedly, HUNDEN had revealed confidential information to an opposing team whilst serving as the coach for Heroic. This breach of information allegedly took place before IEM Cologne kicked off, one of the biggest CSGO tournaments in the industry.
However, the situation darkened when more damning evidence came to light. ESIC was able to secure Google Drive contents and even went as far as requesting the assistance of an IT-driven forensic expert company. Ultimately, it was revealed that HUNDEN had shared critical information with Astralis, a team that he was potentially negotiating a move to. These claims were effectively corroborated by a tweet posted by HUNDEN himself:
Further investigation revealed that the recipient of this top-secret information didn’t actually read it. Although, the damage was done, and it was enough to warrant a two-year ban for HUNDEN.
There are insider sources that claim HUNDEN is on a path of self-destruction following the handing down of his ban. On Twitter, Milan Svejda, the Editor-in-chief for HLTV, explained:
It would appear that HUNDEN has come to terms with the fact that it’s over for him in CS.
“Right now there is nothing called Counter-Strike for me after this.”
That would at least explain why he’s willing to burn down everything around him.
At the tail end of a lengthy and somewhat prestigious career, it’s disheartening to see a once-great player fall so far, so quickly. Fortunately, as esports becomes a more complex industry, watchdogs and regulatory bodies like ESIC are doing incredible work to govern the space.