The Dane is back one month after ESIC lifted his last ban.
Astralis has rounded out its CS:GO staff for 2023 with the signing of former Heroic head coach Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen, who will take the role of head analyst. This position was vacant since December, when Astralis parted ways with former analyst Frederik “LOMME” Nielsen.
This will be HUNDEN’s official return to CS:GO esports after he was banned by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) for two years in August 2021 for allegedly sharing Heroic’s strategic folder with an opposing team. This suspension, however, was lifted at the beginning of December 2022 and HUNDEN became once again eligible to compete in ESIC-member events.
Astralis made clear in 2022, while HUNDEN was still banned, that it would have “no second thoughts” on offering him a job as an analyst once his suspension had ended after a report by Dexerto revealed HUNDEN had been working with the Astralis players through a partnership with Aim Lab.
“Of course, we are aware of Nicolai’s history and what he has been through, but I have no doubt that as a person and as the extremely skilled analyst he is, he will be a great asset to our team and organization,” Astralis’ sports director Kasper Hvidt said about signing HUNDEN.
HUNDEN is a professional CS:GO player most known for his stints with Tricked and MAD Lions between 2019 and 2020, in addition to also have scouting and giving opportunities to up-and-coming players in Denmark.
He made the transition to coaching in April 2020 when he was appointed the head coach of Heroic. HUNDEN helped Heroic to become a better team back then and was one of the reasons they won ESL One Cologne Europe Online in August 2020. Right after, though, he was one of the 37 coaches ESIC suspended for abusing the infamous coach spectator bug, which allowed the coaches to place their camera anywhere on the map and even free roam through the map.
“It has been a long process, and there have been many things we had to discuss with 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.”
HUNDEN stated he officially started working with the Astralis players this Monday, Jan. 2, and is helping the head coach Peter “casle” Ardenskjold to sort out the roles, structure, and playstyle for Astralis.
There are lots of expectations for the Danish team in 2023 as they signed dev1ce back from Ninjas in Pyjamas at the end of 2022 after missing the IEM Rio Major. The team has also recently completed the lineup with the youngster Christian “Buzz” Andersen, who previously played for MASONIC. They’ll play alongside gla1ve, Xyp9x, and blameF.
The signing of HUNDEN, though, is not doing any good for Astralis’ image, as the organization is already under scrutiny from the community for signing a personality that has been banned twice in less than two years.