Heroic recently announced that they are dropping their head coach Nicolai ‘Hunden’ Petersen and are taking legal action against him. They allege that he was leaking sensitive information to a “major competitor” ahead of IEM Cologne 2021. We think that Heroic is one of the best CS:GO teams in the scene right now, and this bombshell news is sure to affect their rankings for the rest of the year.
Heroic alleges that prior to IEM Cologne 2021 in early July, the team at Heroic unanimously decided that Hunden would not be allowed to participate in the tournament due to severe trust issues. After this decision was made, they say that Hunden blocked the team members’ access to the team strategy folder.
They then claim that he shared confidential and sensitive information from their strategy folder with a key individual at a major competitor prior to the esports tournament. This sharing of confidential information was not approved by any other members of the Heroic team.
They claim that this was a breach of his contract and they have begun legal action in Denmark. They also say that two courts have independently found sufficient grounds for evidence collection, which has been carried out.
Comment from Heroic
The Heroic team released a statement a few days ago about their decision to drop Hunden and begin legal action:
“The Heroic team is shocked by Nicolai’s actions and deeply saddened by the way he has let his teammates down, especially given the difficult decision we took to give him a second chance after the coach bug suspension. His actions go against everything we stand for at Heroic.
In order to preserve the integrity of the sport in the eyes of fans and everyone involved, it has to be made clear that such behavior is unacceptable and will have severe consequences.
We are sorry that the relationship with Nicolai ended in this way and will not make further comments at this stage due to the sensitive nature of the case.”
Comment from Nicolai ‘Hunden’ Petersen
In response to the statement released by Heroic, Hunden took to Twitter to provide his own side of the story:
“Recent rumors claim that I have shared Heroic’s stratbook. This I can categorically deny. I have the biggest respect for Heroic, and I would never want to harm the Team or in any way affect them negatively.
The material I have shared is anti-strat material of opponents. This material was shared with colleagues from the other teams in the context of sparring. Knowledge sharing is essential for me as a coach in respect to staying in the loop and developing. At no point in time has Heroic’s own tactics been shared or discussed.”
It looks like the legal action will be going forward. While Hunden has dismissed the allegations as rumors, the fact that he admitted to sharing info will certainly go a long way in Heroic’s case against him.
In relation to the competitive issues at IEM Cologne, ESL’s Senior Vice President of Product also issued a statement that said their investigation concluded that IEM Cologne’s competitive integrity was not affected by HUNDEN’s actions. The Esports Integrity Committee has decided to wait until the end of the legal actions to make an official ruling. However, they did conclude that Petersen did engage in behavior that could constitute a breach of its Integrity Program but agreed with ESL in saying that competitive integrity was not breached at the event.
It will be interesting to watch these events unfold. This isn’t the first time that a CS:GO coach has acted unethically and it won’t be the last but it may set a precedent for future breaches of contract.