Nicolai ‘HUNDEN’ Petersen has been suspended by Heroic, the Danish esports organization founded by the former members of Team X in 2016, after confirming that he had used a coaching bug exploit in two matches. The ban was announced on August 31, just one day after ESL One: Cologne 2020 ended and Heroic walked away with $150,000 in prize money.
In addition, HUNDEN has been banned for one-year by ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC). The 29-year-old professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) coach admitted that he had used the exploit in 10 rounds of a game against Astralis during DreamHack Masters Spring (19-16, 16-14 loss) and in 13 rounds in a game against Spirit in the Home Sweet Home Cup S5 (16-13, 16-5 win).
The bug enabled coaches to join the spectator role during the game and gain a free camera/observer position that allowed them to use that knowledge to advise their team on how to react. Other coaches that have been banned by ESL for exploiting this bug include Aleksandr ‘MechanoGun’ Bogatiryev of Hard Legion Esports and MiBR coach Ricardo ‘dead’ Sinigaglia.
After admitting wrongdoing, HUNDEN stated, “CS:GO at the top level is super competitive and I saw an edge which I knew was wrong, but I took it and used the bug in-game” He added that he acted on his own, “without the knowledge of my teammates,” and contacted Michau Slowinski, the freelance referee, to explain how the bug works, knowing that he would be banned.
“I am sorry for letting down Heroic, my family, and all of our fans. I only want the best for the Counter-Strike community, and my actions during these two games are something that are not part of the community I want and love,” HUNDEN said.
Meanwhile, Heroic has conducted an independent investigation, and has determined that the team players were unaware of the bug abuse or complicit in HUNDEN’s actions. The organization has stated that it has been been in contact with both tournament organizers, and will return the prize money. Heroic has also apologized to its fans, sponsors, and tournament organizers.
Some fans and commentators have stated that the exploit could call into question all of the results of the online-only 2020 season in CS:GO, since many cheats and exploits may have gone undetected.
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