Heroic to retain HUNDEN's services
The Danish organisation offered their support to the coach, who will continue working with the team.
Heroic have announced that they will keep team coach Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen in their ranks for the duration of his eight-month ban for using the spectator bug in 21 rounds across two games in May. According to the Danish organisation, HUNDEN will continue to fulfil his duties as a coach and will work closely with the team as an analyst.
"As earlier mentioned, Nicolai’s mistake does not reflect the values or standards Heroic holds or wants to promote, but a mistake is a mistake," Heroic CEO Erik Askered said in a statement. "We all make them. After all, Hunden is our boy. We love him and he has so much to give this sport, that losing him would neither benefit Heroic, himself, or the pro scene.
"Our focus will now be to maintain the ranking we have fought hard for, and continue proving the world how good we are."
HUNDEN was named as Heroic's coach at the end of April following his retirement as a player. He has helped the Danish team to climb up the ladder and secure an unprecedented second place in the world rankings following a surprise victory in ESL One Cologne's European division.
HUNDEN was one of the three coaches banned on August 31 — just one day after the team's victory in ESL One Cologne — by ESL and DreamHack. He was suspended by Heroic the following day after an internal investigation determined that the exploit had been used deliberately.
The 29-year-old's initial 12-month sanction was reduced by four months on Monday following a review of the case by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC), which also took into consideration his assistance in the investigation. The esports watchdog group has issued bans to 37 coaches as part of an ongoing probe into the spectator bug abuse in the competitive scene.