Astralis continue to work with HUNDEN despite ESIC ban issued to coach earlier
Astralis are continuing a working relationship with the previously banned by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) coach Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen. The Danish club has confirmed this information to Dexerto, however noted that the specialist's work does not contradict ESIC's sanctions.
Astralis representatives stated that HUNDEN, along with the players of the team, was engaged in making a video for the Playerbase Aim Lab training project. According to the organization, the coach, banned from all big tournaments, worked as a subcontractor and was paid for his work by PIXEL.tv, which is owned by Astralis.
Dexerto's sources denied Astralis' claims and stressed that HUNDEN is working with the club as a coach of the main team, while the aforementioned work on making video content is just a legal way to pay him a salary. Several unnamed members of the Danish professional scene, who spoke with the investigation's author Richard Lewis, are confident that in August 2023, when the coach's two-year ban expires, Astralis will offer Petersen an official position in the team.
In a statement to Dexerto, Astralis admitted that once HUNDEN's suspension is over and if necessary, Petersen could be assigned to work as an analyst or some other position. The Danish club believes that no one should be punished beyond the measure implied by ESIC's sanctions.
In 2021, ESIC handed HUNDEN a two-year ban for leaking Heroic's tactics to the team's opponent at IEM Cologne 2021. As it turned out later, the coach shared his squad's strats with one of Astralis' employees.