A series of papers published recently reveals “101 pages of private communications” between Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen and the Astralis organization while he was signed with Heroic from 2020 to 2021..
In case it was forgotten, HUNDEN was banned by the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) in 2020 for exploiting the infamous coaching bug while a member of Heroic, alleging at the time that he was acting alone. He received a reduced eight-month sentence as a result of his cooperation with the esports org inquiry, during which he was suspended by Heroic, but was restored as the Danish team’s coach in April 2021 after serving his sentence.
However, just four months later, it was claimed that the 31-year-old had shared confidential information from Heroic’s strategy folder “with a key individual at a major competitor prior to the tournament,” which was later revealed to be Astralis, whom Heroic ended up facing in a crucial match at that event.
Rumors of the Dane joining the rival Danish organization circulated prior to the competition, with HUNDEN stating after the event that he would not be renewing his contract with Heroic. After that, Heroic responded quickly, claiming that HUNDEN had given the aforementioned secret material and that they were taking legal action, which is still continuing.
The first HUNDEN-related file release concerns correspondence between HUNDEN and Astralis during this time period. According to the reports, HUNDEN had a deal with Heroic from May 2020 to May 2022, but agreed to sign a contract with Astralis as early as March 2021.
According to the report, Kasper Hvidt, Astralis’ Director of Sports, officially offered HUNDEN a position as coach for the team on March 8, 2021. On March 19, it was said that the Dane would be issued a contract to review, subject to ESIC’s ongoing inquiry.
HUNDEN received that contract on March 23. The only issue that remained was his unfinished business with ESIC. On March 31, a Hellosign document containing an employment contract was delivered to the 31-year-old, which looked to have been signed by both HUNDEN and Astralis CEO Anders Hrsholt just two days later, on April 2.
An Astralis insider apparently informed Heroic of these contract talks between their coach and the rival Danish group via email near the end of April.
Astralis eventually updated the contract and wanted to submit it to HUNDEN on June 1, at which point the Dane stated that he would not sign until he saw what Heroic had to offer. All of this occurred much before Heroic and Astralis participated at IEM Cologne 2021, as evidenced by the timetable, with sources stating that HUNDEN “firmly believed he was working for Astralis and undertook multiple tasks on behalf of the organization despite still being a Heroic employee.”
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