ESIC banned coach Hunden returns to Heroic for DreamHack Masters

Fariha Bhatti • April 29, 15:15

Coach Nicolai “⁠HUNDEN⁠ Petersen will return to Heroic ahead of Dreamhack Masters Spring after completing the suspension period levied against him by Esports Integrity Commission in 2020. 

The Danish coach will resume his duties as the coach of Heroic, the organization has announced. His first event with the team will be Dreamhack Masters Spring which will be played from April 29 to May 9. 

The 2020 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive coach ban wave had sent shock waves through the esports scene. After initially being banned by ESL, Hunden landed on the radar of esports watchdog ESIC. An investigation from ESIC in collaboration with Michal Slowaniski saw 37 coaches banned for exploiting a bug that provided an illegal birds-eye view of the map to a spectator. 

Hunden was one of the first coaches implicated in the act alongside Ricardo “dead” Sinigaglia. However, the Danish coach had his suspension reduced from 10 months to eight for his role in assisting the watchdog with the in-depth investigation. The coach was later barred from partaking in the following five majors, CSGO events officially backed by Valve. 

Why was Hunden reinstated as coach of Heroic?

The team had kept the coach around instead of stripping him of responsibilities after the suspension was announced. The organization moved Hunden to an analyst position despite the ban, which earned Heroic massive backlash from the community. While he has returned after completing the eight-month penalty, fans had a mixed reaction to Hunden being reinstated as the coach since he was active under the Heroic banner throughout his sentence. 

The Danish coach played a crucial role in Heroic’s breakthrough in 2020. It makes sense for Casper “⁠cadiaN⁠ Møller and the company to want him around, as Hunden will be the ultimate catalyst for Heroic to reach the top spot on world rankings once again. 

“Hunden is our boy. We have said that before and we will keep on saying it. He contributes enormously to not only Heroic but to the entire Counter-Strike scene,” Chief Gaming Officer Erik Askered said.

Hunden will return to two new faces Ismail “⁠refrezh⁠ Ali and Rasmus “⁠sjuush⁠ Beck, who recently helped Heroic become the second-best team in the world after winning ESL Pro League Season 13. With Hunden, the team’s primary goal is to become number one and retain the position. 

“Heroic aims to be #1 in the world and we have to continue to work on the positive culture that the team has worked on in the last 8 months,” Hunden said. 

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