Heroic have announced that they have parted ways with head coach Nicolai ‘Hunden’ Petersen, alleging that he leaked sensitive information to a “major competitor” ahead of IEM Cologne 2021, at which Heroic placed 7-8th.
Hunden is no stranger to controversy in esports, having also been implicated in the infamous CSGO coaching bug. Now, Heroic have released him from the team and made some damning statements, clarifying the situation and explaining why they had no choice but to move him on from their head coaching role.
In a statement posted by Heroic, they said they felt it necessary to explain why exactly he had been removed. They cited the following reasons:
- Prior to IEM Cologne 2021 in early July, the Heroic team unanimously decided that Mr. Petersen would not participate in the tournament due to severe trust issues.
- Following this, Mr. Petersen blocked the team members’ access to the team strategy folder.
- Investigations revealed that Mr. Petersen had shared confidential and sensitive information from our strategy folder with a key individual at a major competitor prior to the tournament.
- This was done without the knowledge of anyone at Heroic, and would obviously not have been approved.
- Heroic considers this a clear breach of Mr. Petersen’s contract.
- A legal process is ongoing in Denmark. Two courts have independently found sufficient grounds for evidence collection, which has been carried out.
- The issue has been reported to ESL and ESIC.
- Mr. Petersen’s contract has been terminated by Heroic.
Heroic also added that “In order to preserve the integrity of the sport in the eyes of fans and everyone involved, it has to be made clear that such behavior is unacceptable and will have severe consequences.”
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Hunden himself categorically denied the “rumors” that he shared strats with opponents, in a statement posted to Twitter on July 28.
As Heroic revealed, there is an “ongoing legal process” in Denmark, with two courts finding “sufficient grounds for evidence collection.”
ESIC releases statement on Hunden
After both Heroic and Hunden made their own statements, the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) spoke up, saying that they had been made aware of the situation and also informed ESL.
ESIC Statement Regarding Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen
ESIC has elected to make a statement regarding the events related to Mr. Petersen’s statement in the public’s interest and to remove the need for speculation.
— ESIC (@ESIC_Official) July 29, 2021
The statement read: “ESIC’s preliminary findings, on the evidence available, were that while Mr. Petersen did engage in behavior that could constitute a breach of the ESIC Integrity Program, the consequences of his behavior had not impacted the tournament integrity of IEM Cologne…
“As this matter is still ongoing and under investigation, ESIC will reserve further comment on the outcomes arrived at and any potential sanctions to be issued until the finalization of its investigation.”