Heroic players break silence on HUNDEN's accusations
Players that represented the organization in 2020 denied involvement in the coaching bug abuse and detailed their experiences from the time in a 30-minute video.
Casper "cadiaN" Møller, Martin "stavn" Lund, René "TeSeS" Madsen, and Johannes "b0RUP" Borup feature in a video titled "Our Story" in which the four players that were members of Heroic at the time Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen was caught abusing the coaching bug explain their side of the events.
The three current and one former member of Heroic finally broke the silence on the case following ESIC clearing their name on Monday. "Now that the ESIC investigation is done, we can talk about this topic and we will be able to explain our side of the story," cadiaN said in the video, adding that he is open to follow-up questions from journalists as well.
"He had played the game professionally for 10-11 years and never cheated," cadiaN starts the video explaining why HUNDEN's decision to abuse the bug in games against Astralis and Spirit in May of 2020 came as a massive surprise to the Danish team. "Why would he all of a sudden use a cheat or a bug? Why would we ever think that he would want to use it, it makes no sense to use it. It is stupid."
At the time of the first instance of the coaching bug, HUNDEN was a part of the team for just three weeks, and according to b0RUP, cadiaN, and stavn, there was nothing about the communication from the coach that gave off warnings about the bug being abused. "There were no alarm bells ringing, the communication was completely normal", the in-game leader pointed out.
cadiaN and stavn became aware of the abuse a few hours after the game, however, as the two of them together with Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen and HUNDEN stayed on TeamSpeak to review the demos of the match. niko, who has since admitted being complicit to HUNDEN's exploits, told his teammates that HUNDEN was bugged during the Astralis game.
"First I thought it was a joke" stavn said in the video, but both him and cadiaN realized it was real after niko repeated it a couple of times. "We were very shocked," cadiaN continues, which lead to serious discussion. "We gave our opinion on it, saying that under no circumstances should the bug be used."
"We trusted he would do that [not use the bug again], so that is also why it was not communicated to b0rup and TeSeS, which looking back we should've, we should've had a team meeting and said: 'what the f*ck is going on here?'."
The TeamSpeak wasn't recorded during the game against Astralis, cadiaN explains, as at the start of the pandemic players were still used to playing on LAN where that would be sorted out by an admin. The 26-year-old does have a POV video of himself playing the match which he was inspired by the likes of Marcelo "coldzera" David and Martin "STYKO" Styk to create, but it only features his own communication, not that of the whole team.
The second game in which HUNDEN abused the bug was against Spirit, and cadiaN claims that the communication wasn't suspicious either. "If the information he had would've been communicated directly to us, we would've played the game differently", he says, pointing out a round they lost walking into a pistol stack.
"I didn't know he was in the bug during the game," the 20-year-old denies such claims, giving his version of the story. TeSeS admitted to boosting the coach into a position during warmup, but he says HUNDEN didn't explain why he needed the boost and added that, at the time, he wasn't informed about the fact HUNDEN had already exploited the bug against Astralis five days prior to the game against Spirit. "I don't remember much about it but it didn't seem suspicious, nothing seemed out of the ordinary."
cadiaN, stavn, TeSeS, and b0RUP reveal more details in the video and talk in-depth about the difficulties they had over the past months dealing with the accusations they now publicly denied. "The video was our idea, we want this story out, we want the community to understand," cadiaN says towards the end of it, when they also touch on topics such as HUNDEN leaking their stratbook, the public pressure, and the reactions from analysts and other professional players.