The organization breached the Louvre Agreement in 2021
ESL has fined Astralis $100,000 for breaking rules stated in the Louvre Agreement. In a statement published last Thursday (29), the organizer informed that the Danish team maintained and didn't report an existing conflict of interest.
The fine was decided on following an independent investigation by ESL Pro League’s Executive Board that began in January, earlier this year. According to the statement, the investigation found that "Astralis asked for and received services from a future employee between April and July 2021, which created a Conflict of Interest as that party held a position of authority within a competitor team."
The result of this breach was a fine of USD $100,000 in total. This includes legal and procedural fees. ESL also reinforced that the investigation concluded that no competition or match results were impacted by Astralis' violation.
Astralis and HUNDEN
Despite not disclosing who the employee involved in the conflict of interests was, ESL's punishment comes shortly after Astralis see itself involved in a polemic situation. According to a report made by the journalist Richard Lewis, the organization signed with Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen while he was still under contract with Heroic.
Astralis parted ways with HUNDEN a few days before ESL statement. The Danish was acting as Head Analyst for the organization, which also cut ties with Kasper Hvidt, Director of Esports that was the main person behind HUNDEN's hiring.
The coach commented on the situation and said that he was cleared from all the investigations and was not sanctioned by ESL. HUNDEN also states that he helped through the investigation by providing documents and also participating in interviews.
Astralis states disappointment over fine
With the official publication on ESL website, Astralis replied, stating surprise and disappointment with the results of the investigation. Anders Horsholt, Astralis CEO, the organization complimented ESL for the thorough process.
“Thankfully the need to investigate a Member is rare, but we will always act on critical information and investigate their relevance. We ensured that all steps of the process set out in our Agreement were followed, using industry-leading independent experts along the way. The findings notwithstanding, I would like to commend the constructive manner in which Astralis conducted themselves throughout the inquiry and upon its outcome. Our ESL Pro League fans, partners, and participants expect us and our Members to operate with the highest standards of integrity, both on the server and away from it. We are proud to have had support from a range of individuals and organizations during this investigation and to have finalized a position that reassures all involved.”