ESIC Sanctions Niko for Complicity in HUNDEN Coaching Bug Abuse, Clears Remaining Players
The investigation has come to an end as ESIC publishes its decision.
Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) has concluded its investigation into Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen's case, alleging the involvement of multiple Heroic CS:GO players in the historic coaching bug scandal.
The outcome published today on 18th October states that Rene “TeSeS” Madsen, Casper “cadiaN” Moller, Johannes “b0RUP” Borup, and Martin “stavn” Lund are to be deemed innocent of all allegations made against them. This is because the ESIC was unable to find enough evidence to mark them as guilty of any offence under the ESIC Integrity Program.
However, Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen admitted to his involvement in the spectator bug abuse along with HUNDEN. As this is a level four offence, he has been found guilty of breaching the ESIC Code of Conduct Articles 2.4.4 and 2.4.5 respectively.
Niko admits to his involvement in the spectator bug abuse during ESIC's investigation
ESIC had received information from HUNDEN on 4th September, alleging the involvement of several current and former Heroic players in the exploitation of the spectator bug.
These claims had been initially made public via a Danish website before HUNDEN submitted all the documents to the ESIC, compelling them to open a formal investigation into the matter on 6th September. The evidence submitted to support his allegations was as follows:
A written statement from HUNDEN pointing out his allegations.
Screenshots of texts and conversations with various individuals related to the team (Heroic).
Screenshots of a text conversation with an anonymous individual known as “Robert”.
A voice recording and transcripts of HUNDEN’s conversation with niko.
An unsigned Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) relating to the coaching bug scandal. Which if signed, would have prohibited the players from disclosing information publicly about the incident.
Having finalized an investigation plan by 10th September, the ESIC went ahead to conduct interviews and inquiry with:
Current and former Heroic players: TeSeS, cadiaN, b0RUP, stavn, niko.
Heroic staff: Nicolai “hani” Hansen and Troels Robl.
Anonymous witness Robert.
Current management and ownership of Heroic, OG, and MAD Lions.
Various CS:GO experts.
Agent representing niko along with his mother.
Based on all this, the ESIC came to a decision that TeSeS, cadiaN, b0RUP, and stavn were innocent, due to the reasons stated above. But, niko was found to be guilty as he admitted to his complicity in the spectator bug abuse along with HUNDEN.
However, he was handed a lenient disciplinary punishment after some exceptional circumstances were referred to. The following minor sanction has been handed to niko:
A severe public reprimand for his behaviour.
A warning as to future conduct with severe consequences for any future breach of the ESIC Integrity Program.
Mandatory attendance at two one-on-one education sessions with the ESIC Commissioner of minimum 30 mins duration each.
A minimum 15 mins check-in with the Commissioner every month for a minimum of six months to ensure he has understood and is complying with the ESIC Integrity Program and to offer him support for any issues he might be having in this respect.
This has to be strictly adhered to by niko, as non-compliance will result in a minimum of 30-days ban from all ESIC Member events.
According to ESIC, this exception was factored in because niko has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Asperger's Syndrome which "significantly impacted his ability to know right from wrong, make value-based decisions on his own, and communicate effectively in a conventional way".
Due to his condition, niko trusted and respected HUNDEN having played with him on multiple occasions. On the other hand, HUNDEN deliberately fostered and then exploited that trust at a timing that was convenient to him. He made niko believe that the exploitation of the spectator bug was no big deal, humourous and that all of his teammates at the time must know of it and be complicit in the same way.
Other aspects of ESIC's investigation related to HUNDEN
The details of the investigation go on to explain how HUNDEN lightly and in a joking manner through regular conversation, strategically instilled the knowledge of the spectator bug's existence amidst the players.
The report compares this mindset to that of a match-fixer, a tactic used in order to gauge the opinions of others on their team whether they are willing to be complicit or not.
Talking about the involvement of TeSeS to boost HUNDEN against Team Spirit at specific positions, ESIC found no evidence that corroborated to him having any knowledge of HUNDEN's actual intention behind all of it.
ESIC has further gone on to make an assertion that cadiaN, stavn, and niko had learned about the spectator bug being abused during Heroic's match against Astralis. This is because there is evidence of a post-game TeamSpeak conversation between the players and HUNDEN, where niko states that HUNDEN had revealed to him via a message that he was in the bug.
This incident was never reported to Heroic's management and "easily glossed over by the players involved," but this was not enough in the Comissioner's view to sustain any charge of complicity.