After ESIC unban, HUNDEN lands analyst job at Astralis


CS:GO coach Nicolai ‘⁠HUNDEN⁠’ Petersen has joined Astralis’ backroom staff as Head Analyst, the Danish organization has announced.

HUNDEN takes over from Frederik ‘LOMME’ Nielsen, who departed Astralis at the end of 2022, in what will be his first official role with a CS:GO team since leaving Heroic in July 2021.

The announcement comes a month after HUNDEN was reinstated by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC). The esports watchdog had slapped him with a two-year ban on August 27, 2021, for leaking sensitive information to a competitor — believed to be Astralis — ahead of IEM Cologne without Heroic’s knowledge.

Article continues after ad

ESIC decided to reinstate HUNDEN following an in-person meeting with the coach, in which it was determined that HUNDEN will have to undertake “relevant training”. On Twitter, HUNDEN thanked his lawyers “for guiding me through what has been a very difficult period”, indicating that he resorted to legal avenues to challenge his ban.

Astralis’ Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt, described HUNDEN as “an extremely skilled analyst” who will be “an asset to our team and organization.” Head coach Peter ‘⁠casle⁠’ Ardenskjold added that HUNDEN is “one of the very best in the field and extremely thorough in his work.”

Article continues after ad

“It has been a long process and there have been many things we had to discuss in relation to my role and everything I have been through,” HUNDEN said. “Now I’m just happy it’s all in place, and I already feel how much it means to me to be up and running and to have talented people around me who trust and support me.

“Astralis is something special in Denmark and having seen it all from the outside with the enormous support the team has always received, it feels great to be a part of it all.”

Article continues after ad

A lengthy courtship

HUNDEN had been linked with Astralis since the summer of 2021, when an report revealed that he was the prime candidate to replace head coach Danny ‘⁠zonic⁠’ Sørensen, who was entering the final six months of his contract.

In August 2022, Dexerto Editor-at-Large Richard Lewis revealed that HUNDEN had “a working relationship” with Astralis during his ban. The Danish organization told Dexerto that the coach had been interacting with their CS:GO team on a regular basis to create content for strategic partner Aim Lab.

Article continues after ad

Astralis added that they would have no qualms about working with HUNDEN in a more direct capacity once his ban expired. “Should we have the need, we would not have any second thoughts about offering him a position as an analyst or the like,” the Danish organization said.

HUNDEN coached Heroic for over a year after retiring as a player

When his ban was lifted, many expected HUNDEN to join Astralis as a head coach. But that possibility was shot down when Astralis announced that interim coach ⁠casle⁠ would remain in charge of the team in 2023. Both HUNDEN and casle are barred from participating in CS:GO Majors until the end of the second Major of 2023 for their use of the spectator bug.

Article continues after ad

HUNDEN’s addition to the backroom staff is part of the rebuilding process that Astralis started after failing to qualify for the IEM Rio Major. The organization moved on from Asger ‘Farlig’ Jensen and Kristian ‘k0nfig’ Wienecke, re-signed superstar Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz from NIP and picked up Christian Møss ‘Buzz’ Andersen, a rising talent playing in Denmark’s second tier.

Meanwhile, Astralis have also strengthened their performance team by hiring Jan Østergaard Jørgensen, a retired badminton player, and Bjarne Slot Christiansen, a former professional soldier who is now a lifestyle coach and TV host, as their new performance coach and mental coach, respectively.

Article continues after ad