The signing of HUNDEN doesn’t do justice to Astralis’ legacy in CS:GO

For anybody who began following CS:GO in 2017 onwards, the identify Astralis was undoubtedly related to the phrase success and the Danish group completely deserves the credit score. Spearheaded by stars equivalent to dev1ce and dupreeh, the all-Dane workforce went on to win 4 CS:GO Majors between 2017 and 2019, along with including a number of different S-tier trophies to their gallery, whereas additionally defining the meta different groups tried to emulate throughout that point.

But for anybody who began watching CS:GO esports in 2021, the identify Astralis isn’t immediately related to success. Not solely did arguably essentially the most feared group within the historical past of Valve’s FPS fail to carry a single trophy that yr, which had by no means occurred earlier than, nevertheless it additionally misplaced essential items, first with dev1ce leaving to hitch Ninjas in Pyjamas within the first semester and later with the trio of dupreeh, Magisk, and head coach zonic departing to construct a brand new undertaking for Vitality in 2022.

Astralis hit an all-time low in 2022 when the gamers didn’t qualify for the IEM Rio Major in November, inflicting the group to overlook its first Valve-sponsored match for the reason that membership was created in 2016. This prompted large modifications in Astralis, together with a coach swap and, most notably, the return of dev1ce, since neither of the AWPing decisions the workforce made labored after his departure in 2021.

There was just one lacking piece in Astralis for 2023 after the departure of analyst Frederik “LOMME” Nielsen in December. And regardless of the brand new rent being form of written all around the wall, followers nonetheless can’t consider Astralis truly pulled the set off and appointed the notorious former coach of Heroic and two-time cheater Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen as head analyst at present.

Depending on what occurs, this transfer might eternally tarnish the popularity of Astralis. Given how far HUNDEN has gone in making an attempt to justify his acts prior to now, Astralis is taking a severe threat in associating its picture with him.

A report by Dexerto in August 2022 revealed HUNDEN labored with the Astralis gamers by means of a partnership with Aim Lab and the Danish group made it clear that its doorways could be open to him after he served his time. Well, one month after HUNDEN’s suspension was lifted by ESIC forward of time, Astralis has given him this chance to return again to skilled CS:GO.

Related: CS:GO group enraged over “absolutely shameless” HUNDEN signing by Astralis

After an extended profession as a CS:GO in-game chief for tier-two groups in Denmark, HUNDEN made the change to teaching in 2020 and was employed by Heroic, Astralis’ No. 1 rival within the nation. His teaching skills have been acknowledged very early as he helped Heroic develop into a significantly better workforce throughout the on-line period of CS:GO on the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. With him sitting behind the gamers, Heroic received their first notable occasion for the reason that group was created in 2016 at ESL One Cologne Europe Online in August 2020.

Heroic and HUNDEN, although, barely had any time to rejoice since HUNDEN was slapped with a suspension by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) in September 2020 alongside 36 different coaches. The motive? He was one of many individuals who abused the coach spectator bug, a type of dishonest that allowed the coaches spectating the net matches to position their cameras wherever on the map and acquire an unfair benefit over their adversaries. HUNDEN at all times mentioned that the gamers didn’t know he had used this bug in two separate matches and took all of the blame for it.

Astralis, on the time, doubted that the Heroic gamers didn’t know what HUNDEN was doing. The founder and chairman of Astralis, Nikolaj Nyholm, implied the gamers knew all the pieces and triggered an uproar on social media.

HUNDEN remained as an analyst for Heroic till April 30, 2021, when his ban expired and he might return to actions. Not lengthy after it, he entered the historical past books as one of many few individuals to get banned for a second time. After Heroic and ESL bought suspicious forward of IEM Cologne in July 2021, an investigation performed by the ESIC concluded that HUNDEN tried to leak Heroic’s technique folder to a different workforce attending the match whereas he was making an attempt to maneuver on from Heroic and be part of one other workforce, and banned him for 2 years resulting from making a risk to the integrity of the sport.

This time, nonetheless, HUNDEN didn’t take the blame quietly. Assuming that he could be out of CS:GO esports eternally, HUNDEN accused the Heroic roster of 2020 of being complicit with the abuse of the coach spectator bug by means of an interview with Danish media. This led to the ESIC investigating cadiaN, stavn, TeSeS, b0rup, and niko.

The investigation couldn’t discover sufficient proof to punish cadiaN, stavn, TeSeS, and b0rup, nevertheless it did discover out that HUNDEN explicitly took benefit of his relationship with niko and manipulated him to assist with the coach spectator bug. Niko has ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, that are medical situations that may “affect a person’s ability to know right from wrong [and] make values-based decisions on [their] own,” in line with the ADHD and Asperger’s Team on the National Autistic Society and the ADHD Foundation. Because of that, the ESIC solely warned niko and put him on a six-month probationary interval.

Related: Who is HUNDEN and why was he banned from CS:GO?

Photo by way of DreamHack

First of all, I completely assume individuals deserve a second likelihood in life and that everybody can commit errors—that’s what people do. For me, nonetheless, the abuse of the coach spectator bug and making an attempt to share the methods of Heroic aren’t the nucleus of the entire controversy involving HUNDEN.

Lots of people have cheated since CS:GO was created. Even s1mple, the best participant to ever contact this recreation, admittedly cheated at first of his profession. What we will’t overlook, although, is that HUNDEN, a grown-up grownup who had been competing since 2009 in Counter-Strike: Source, abused his relationship with niko, who has ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, and tried to throw each certainly one of his Heroic gamers below the bus and probably break their careers the second time he was banned. This confirmed his true character and what he’s able to doing.

Secondly, HUNDEN additionally betrayed Heroic as a company, who stored him on the payroll throughout the entire time he was banned for abusing the coach spectator bug and allowed him to work with the gamers as an analyst.

At this level, HUNDEN’s unethical acts ought to have burned all his bridges on the prime of CS:GO. But in some way, a company like Astralis is more than pleased to open its doorways to him due to all of the clear expertise he has in developing with strats and analyzing CS:GO. For now, he’ll solely be working within the background and other people received’t see his face, however who can assure he received’t develop into the workforce’s head coach in six months ought to the present coach Peter “casle” Ardenskjold fail to get essentially the most out of dev1ce and crew?

Is this the instance we need to set for kids, to probably enable a two-time cheater and somebody who has a dangerous persona to educate within the prime occasions of CS:GO esports once more? And maybe most significantly, ought to Astralis put its religion in somebody like HUNDEN to help in making an attempt to steer the org again to the highest?

We don’t understand how this story will unfold, but when HUNDEN slips up as soon as once more, this might eternally change the picture of Astralis. The Danish membership will not be solely connected to success and as an alternative will likely be related to an notorious cheater. From this level on, the legacy Astralis has constructed since 2016 is in danger.

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