CS:GO community reacts to ESIC lifting HUNDEN's ban
The former Heroic coach is free to participate in ESIC member tournaments after the watchdog lifted his suspension on Friday.
The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) announced that Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen is allowed to participate in ESIC-member events on Friday, canceling his ban that was due to last until August 2023 and removing the case from their register as well as several mentions of the proceedings from their list of press releases.
The watchdog's statement revealed that the reason for the decision was a result of a "constructive engagement between the two parties," while a Tweet from the Dane suggested the decision came as a result of legal talks behind the scenes, as HUNDEN thanked his lawyers for guiding him through the "difficult period."
In a situation unrelated to his latest ban, ESIC first handed HUNDEN an eight-month ban in August 2020 for his use of the coaching bug. Once he served his sentence, he was reinstated as Heroic's coach in April of 2021.
That wasn't the end of the coach's controversy, however, as he received a second ban by ESIC in late August 2021 for breaching their Code of Conduct, further damaging his already poor reputation. HUNDEN was found to have shared Heroic's confidential strategic material with a rival team and was banned for two years. ESIC cut that sentence short on Friday, meaning HUNDEN is free to play in ESIC-member events with immediate effect.
The decision sparked heated debate among the community, with the general sentiment being one of disgruntlement and worry about the future implications of ESIC bans. Many community figures publicly displayed their disappointment with ESIC's actions, commenting on their lack of transparency and their inability to hold up their sanctions against coaches who have employed legal help.
Another hot topic of debate was the future of HUNDEN in CS:GO. A report published by Dexerto in August stated that Astralis confirmed they would "gladly hire the 31-year-old after the ban." The comments prompted speculation on whether the Danish organization would go through with the hire due to public backlash.
Many community members also shared their frustrations with ESIC unbanning HUNDEN while other coaches, such as Nicholas "guerri" Nogueira, remained banned from Majors. To understand why that is the case, it is important to note the difference between ESIC and Valve bans. While coaches like guerri have served their sentence when it comes to ESIC member events, Valve considered the bans differently and didn't follow suit when ESIC recalculated the coaching bans in August.
Valve's decision means that some coaches, such as guerri, are banned from attending Majors for a longer time frame, despite the 32-year-old getting a 60% deduction from ESIC based on his appeal, reducing his sentence to four months. The CS:GO developers did not take into account ESIC's ban reductions, however, banning coaches solely based on ESIC's demerit points at the start of the investigation, meaning some coaches remain banned from Valve tournaments despite ESIC's adjustments.