Credit: BLAST Premier and Michal Konkol
The Executive Board of ESL Pro League fined Astralis for "maintaining and not reporting a conflict of interest" back in April and July 2021.
The $100,000 sanction is tied to the case of Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen, where the then Heroic coach was accused of leaking strategies to an opponent before the start of IEM Cologne 2021.
That opponent was later revealed to be Astralis, who were in the talks of hiring HUNDEN. The controversial coach and analyst was signed at the beginning of 2023 but lost his job nine days ago along with Astralis' Director of Sports, Kasper Hvidt. Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen emphasized on Twitter, that his departure had nothing to do with the investigation of ESL.
CEO of Astralis, Anders Hørsholt commented on the verdict with surprise and disappointment.
- From the moment Astralis were approached by the Commissioner’s Office with regards to these allegations, we worked closely and collaboratively with them, the Executive Board and the investigators to support their process. We are equally surprised and disappointed with the conclusion of the investigation, but we believe all parties have learned a lot throughout this process, and we accept the verdict. In Astralis, we firmly believe in maintaining high standards of professionalism, integrity, and fair play, and as such we are proud of the fact that the Louvre Agreement is at the forefront of good governance and regulatory discipline, under which a complaint by a Member is taken seriously and followed up on with a thorough investigation. We also wish to recognize the diligent work done by all involved parties in this matter. As the Louvre Agreement is a continually-evolving document, we anticipate working together with the Members in the near future to see if and how we can iterate this process further, and keep it at that best practice level.