Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen was banned Friday for two years following the conclusion of an investigation by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) that found the Danish coach guilty of sharing information with a competitor. To compound the matter, the team with which he attempted to collude was in the process of negotiating for Petersen to potentially join them at a later date.
Specifically, Petersen was banned under article 2.4.5, which relates to the charge of "bringing CSGO into disrepute", and will be unable to hold a position until at least Aug. 24, 2023. ESIC also stated that Petersen’s claim he was never offered the right to reply is false, claiming they contacted him on Aug. 19, 2021, providing him with the opportunity to respond.
According to an HLTV report, ESIC was also not given information showing Heroic players were aware of his abuse of the coaching/spectator bug, a claim made by Petersen in an interview given to a Danish publication, meaning they were unable to act on these allegations. Petersen’s failure to share the information with ESIC does not speak to a person attempting to help CSGO, but rather one attempting to implicate others, either as a form of revenge or in an attempt to mitigate his own guilt ahead of these fresh sanctions.
HUNDEN's admission key to the investigation
Key to the investigation was Petersen’s own admission that he had shared "anti-strat" information with an opponent, which occurred in the runup to IEM Cologne 2021, via Google Drive. The information, which ESIC state was not accessed by the recipient team, created a threat to the competitive integrity of the event, as well as CSGO generally, and was sufficient to ban Petersen from coaching for two years.
The fact the team he sent the information to was in the process of negotiating for Petersen to potentially join them compounded the offense, with speculation online that the team involved was Astralis, who may be looking for a replacement for coach Danny "zonic" Sorensen. There is no suggestion that Petersen’s previous ban, received for abusing the ‘observer bug’, played a part in the decision-making here.
Furthermore, ESIC is keen to state that this case has no relation to ongoing legal action taken by Petersen’s former team Heroic, who terminated his employment on discovering the actions described above. Petersen’s conduct since his initial admission has also been highly questionable, with the former coach attempting to implicate his old teammates, as well as lying that ESIC did not give him the right to reply, and threatened him with a longer ban should he appeal, something the Commission strongly denies.
Given his previous ban for abusing the spectator bug and the fact he was willing to share confidential information with a competitor while still employed by Heroic, Petersen’s stock is at an all-time low, and it seems that the team he attempted to collude with were aware of the gravity of the situation when they chose not to access the files he sent. Many have called for a permanent ban, given the pattern of dishonest behavior over a sustained period, with Petersen yet to make a statement on his future plans.