CS:GO: Astralis tarnishes legacy by signing HUNDEN, analysts predict
Analysts said the Danish CS:GO team Astralis have tarnished its legacy by signing the controversial former Heroic coach Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen as its head analyst.
In August 2022, Dexerto reported that HUNDEN worked with Astralis via a partnership with Aim Lab. At that time, the Danish esports organization already planned to sign HUNDEN once the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) lifted his suspension.
HUNDEN spent years as a professional CS:GO player in Denmark. The 31-year-old then switched to coaching in 2020 and worked with Heroic, Astralis’ biggest rival in their home country.
He helped Heroic perform better in online tournaments at the height of the pandemic. Heroic even won the ESL One Cologne Europe Online in August 2020 under HUNDEN’s guidance, its first title since the organization’s establishment in 2016.
HUNDEN’s scandal, controversy
In September 2020, however, the ESIC suspended HUNDEN and 36 other coaches for abusing the coach spectator bug. This bug allows coaches who oversee online matches to place cameras on any part of the map, giving them advantages over opponents.
HUNDEN allegedly planted the bug on two separate occasions. He claimed that his players were not aware of his action and took all the blame. However, Astralis founder Nikolaj Nyholm made a statement indicating that Heroic players knew the coach’s action.
During his suspension period, HUNDEN still worked as an analyst for Heroic until his suspension ended on April 30, 2021. He resumed his activity as a Heroic coach before the ESIC once again suspended him.
Ahead of the S-tier IEM Cologne in July 2021, Heroic and ESL reported HUNDEN for “suspicious” activities. The ESIC’s investigation found that HUNDEN attempted to leak Heroic’s strategy folder to another IEM Cologne participant while trying to move to that team.
The ESIC then suspended HUNDEN for two years for threatening the CS:GO’s integrity.
Fans condemned HUNDEN who, according to the ESIC, manipulated Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen — a member of Heroic’s 2020 roster — to help him plant the spectator bug. Niko has ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, which can hamper his decision-making process.
Analysts and fans agree that hiring HUNDEN, who displayed unethical behaviors in competition, will set bad example to young people enjoying competitive CS:GO. They are also worried that Astralis will hire HUNDEN as a coach after Peter “casle” Ardenskjold’s tenure ends.
As of now, Astralis’ fans will not see much of HUNDEN as an analyst. His role only provides back support for the team.
Astralis’ recent performance
Despite winning four CS:GO Majors from 2017 to 2019, Astralis has not shown its best performance in recent years.
The team’s performance started declining in 2021 when the team did not bring home a single trophy at all. The team lost Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz who left to join Ninjas in Pyjamas. Head coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen also left for Team Vitality.
Analysts said that Astralis’ all-time low was in 2022 when none of the players qualified for the IEM Rio Major last November. This defeat led to the team missing the Valve-sponsored tournament for the first time since its establishment in 2016.
Astralis then hired castle — who also got banned by the ESIC for planting a spectator bug — to revitalize the team. The organization also brought back dev1ce from Ninjas in Pyjamas because none of Astralis’ AWPing choices worked after dev1ce left.
HUNDEN took over the analyst position from Frederik “LOMME” Nielsen who left the organization last December. Like HUNDEN, LOMME used to coach the Heroic roster.