MAD Lions captain Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen has been removed from the active CS:GO roster and moved to the bench, as revealed earlier this Thursday, March 5, by the Spanish esports organisation.
The shock announcement will see the experienced In-game-leader removed from the active line-up due to internal issues in the team, which will leave the Danish squad on the lookout for a new member. MAD Lions are, however, running out of time as they are set to appear at Europe Minor Championship - Rio 2020: Closed Qualifier in just two days’ time.
As it was revealed, MAD Lions decided for this step a week after their poor display at IEM Katowice 2020, where they finished ninth-12th. The Danes started their journey in the Polish city in Group B, where they lost to Evil Genuises in the opening round, which saw them fall down into the lower bracket. Although HUNDEN and co. managed to bounce back with a strong performance against Virtus.pro (2-1), they failed to make it past round two where they suffered a clean sweep against mousesports (0-2), who tamed the Lions on Train (8-16) and Dust II (4-16).
The announcement of HUNDEN's departure from the roster is rather shocking for the whole CS:GO community, with many expressing their disagreement with the organisation's decision, considering they just lost one of the most experienced leaders in the scene.
HUNDEN started his career as a Counter-Strike pro with CS: Source in April 2009, when he played for DSRack. He later played for XayaGaming, Reason Gaming, Epsilon Esports and Tt Dragons. In August 2019, HUNDEN switched over to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with Tt Dragons and in September, the same year jumped ship to join Copenhagen Wolves, where he played alongside Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander.
In the years that followed, HUNDEN played for a long list of teams, including Reason Gaming, SK Gaming, Tricked Esports, ALTERNATE aTTaX and in December 2019 joined MAD Lions, when the Spanish organisation acquired whole Tricked Esports' roster, which consisted of Frederik "acoR" Gyldstrand, Rasmus "Sjuush" Beck, Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen,Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen and HUNDEN. The team also appointed Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu as their new head coach.
Just days after joining MAD Lions, HUNDEN led his team to a top-four finish at DreamHack Sevilla 2019 and saw some more success at the European IEM Katowice qualifiers, where MAD Lions shock everyone as they defeated ENCE and pocketed the third and final ticket for the main event. At the end of January, MAD Lions also finished third-fourth at DreamHack Open Leipzig 2020 and finished top-four at ICE Challenge 2020, after suffering a reverse-sweep loss to mousesports in the semi-finals.
Without HUNDEN on the roster, MAD Lions now have a difficult task, as they need to find a suitable replacement to fill the ranks ahead of Europe Minor Championship - Rio 2020: Closed Qualifier. Their first fixture of the qualifiers is slated to be played on Saturday, March 7, when MAD Lions will face off against Sprout.
Although HUNDEN will see him removed from the MAD Lions' CS:GO roster, he has confirmed on his Twitter account that he is currently in discussion about moving into a management role with the organisation.
"With recent rumours circulating about my status with MAD Lions, I´d like to confirm that I have been in discussions about moving into a management role with the org," said HUNDEN.
"This was mutually agreed and makes more sense for me to begin the transition with the org ahead of FLASHPOINT"
Although, a very encouraging announcement, HUNDEN claimed he can't provide further details, stating " I am very excited to share more information with you, but unfortunately it´s still too early."
"We are in the process of finalizing the roster for FLASHPOINT, and will share more as soon as we can."
MAD Lions CS:GO roster is now:
Lucas "Bubzkji" Andersen
Frederik "acoR" Gyldstrand
Rasmus "sjuush" Beck
Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen
Luis "peacemaker" Tadeu - coach
Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen - benched
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.