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ESIC sanctions 2 years ban to Heroic coach HUNDEN

Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen, Heroic CSGO team’s former coach finally received a two-year ban for breaching ESIC’s Code of Conduct. ESIC started that investigation process after receiving a report on 6th July regarding Hunden’s behavior.

Hunden even tweeted on 28th July, “The material I have shared is anti-strat material of opponents“. Moreover, Heroic confirmed that they were going to take legal action against Hunden.

A few weeks after, on 19th August Hunden received an email from ESIC regarding the allegation. On 25th August, ESIC sent a notice to Hunden informing the two-year ban from 25th August 2021 to 24th August 2023.

ESIC’s Investigation Report

According to ESIC, just before the IEM Cologne Hunden sent strategic team information digitally through Google’s “Google Drive” application to a senior employee of the opposing team.

This two-year ban is the result of investigating all the evidence that ESIC perceived.

ESIC’s Evidence

Here is a list of all the evidence from a variety of sources:

  • Examination of the google drive access records relevant to the Incident
  • Interviews with Heroic management
  • Discussions with opposing team management
  • Discussions and examination of evidence with the recipient of the information sent by Mr. Petersen via ESL officials, under ESIC oversight
  • Examination of the google drive contents
  • Examination of a forensic IT report produced by forensic expert firm Frend

After completing the investigation, ESIC observed:

  • Mr. Petersen was in the process of negotiating a career move from Heroic to the opposing team;
  • Mr. Petersen did, in fact (and by his own admission), send information to the opposing team that, at the very least, included information such as anti-strategy materials relating to Heroic’s opponents as well as other sensitive and potentially useful (to an opponent) information;
  • The recipient had not, as a matter of forensic evidence available to date, accessed the information;
  • Accordingly, IEM Cologne was not considered compromised from a competitive integrity standpoint;
  • However, in sharing anti-strategy materials, amongst other potentially sensitive and useful data and information, with the opposing team during:
  • Mr. Petersen’s employment with Heroic;
  • Mr. Petersen’s transition or negotiation of career movement to that opposing team;
  • Heroic’s upcoming attendance of IEM Cologne (in which it may have faced opponents which were the subject of the anti-strategy materials);
  • Mr. Petersen’s knowledge of the opposing team’s attendance of the same event;
  • Mr. Petersen created
    • a threat to the integrity of an ESIC member event (irrespective of whether or not that threat materialised);
    • a threat to the reputation of an ESIC member (irrespective of whether or not that threat materialised); and in doing so
  • Threatened harm to the reputation and competitive integrity of esports, and ESIC’s member ESL.

HUNDEN’s ban summary

  • Ban Duration: 2 Years
  • Ban Start Date: 25 August 2021
  • Ban End Date: 24 August 2023

ESIC Commissioner’s Comment

Ian Smith, ESIC Commissioner explained,

As esports increasingly professionalises and continues to enter mainstream awareness, it is important that esports participants realise the importance of conducting themselves in a professional manner and with more careful thought to the consequences of their actions. Their obligations to their employers, tournament organisers and the broader esports community needs to be grasped and given higher priority than the mere advancement of one’s individual career. The sort of conduct punished here has to be unacceptable and would not be tolerated in traditional sport under any circumstances. Whilst I understand that, in the context of CS:GO, strategy and anti-strat are not the same thing, tactics used to counter a particular opponent based on their play style (anti-strategy) is undeniably a strategy in itself. Accordingly, I believe that what Mr. Petersen did was almost the equivalent of an NFL head coach providing his team’s general playbook to an opposing team before a game and there are no circumstances in which that can be justified.

At a broader level, it is alleged in various public statements by Mr. Petersen and others that swapping of information, strategies, data, and tactics between coaches in CSGO is common practice. I don’t know if this is true, but, if it is, it needs to end now, or at the very least in the build-up to events and tournaments. Competitive integrity is key to esports’ growth and future appeal and all participants ought to have this front of mind at all times

Recommended | ESIC banned retchy and 4pack for 5 years due to match-fixing

Aritra Patra
Aritra Patra
Executive Editor at TalkEsport | CS2 enthusiast ▄︻デ══━一
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