ESIC lifts CSGO coach HUNDEN’s ban

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The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has announced that it has lifted the ban imposed on CS:GO coach Nicolai ‘⁠HUNDEN⁠’ Petersen, who is free to participate in member events again.

The decision followed an in-person meeting between the two parties to discuss the two-year ban with which HUNDEN was slapped in 2021 over a breach of ESIC’s integrity program.

Despite “disagreements on certain matters”, ESIC said, the two parties “recognised the importance of integrity to the thriving Esports industry.” It was agreed that HUNDEN will undertake “relevant training”, while ESIC will “review its policies and procedures to ensure they are consistent with good industry practice and fit for purpose”.

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“The parties will make no further comment on this matter,” ESIC noted.

ESIC bans 35 more CSGO Counter-Strike players for betting offences.Valve / ESIC
ESIC lifts HUNDEN’s ban after an in-person meeting with the coach

HUNDEN was slapped with a two-year ban on August 27 2021 after ESIC learned that the coach had leaked sensitive information to a competitor ahead of IEM Cologne without the knowledge of his then-team, Heroic. The name of the team was not revealed, but HUNDEN was at the time linked with a move to Astralis as Danny ‘zonic’ Sørensen was entering the final six months of his contract with the organisation.

A forensic investigation determined that the recipient did not access the material shared by HUNDEN. Still, ESIC determined that by merely leaking the information, HUNDEN had created threats “to the integrity of an ESIC member event” and “to the reputation of an ESIC member”, and had “threatened harm to the reputation and competitive integrity of esports, and ESIC’s member ESL”.

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Before that ban, HUNDEN had served an eight-month suspension in another case, related to the use of the spectator bug. That ban, reduced from ten to eight months for his assistance with the investigation, expired in April 2021.

What now for HUNDEN?

With his ban now removed, HUNDEN is expected to return to coaching immediately. And he might finally join Astralis, who are looking for a new head coach after parting ways with Martin ‘trace’ Heldt in October.

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 interacted with the team on a regular basis to create content for strategic partner Aim Lab.

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Michal Konkol/BLAST
Astralis seems to be be HUNDEN’s likeliest destination

At the time, Astralis also noted that they would jump at the chance to work 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,” Astralis said.