An Interview With Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen
Updated: Aug 4, 2018
I recently got a chance to do an interview with HUNDEN, one of the most influential and experienced IGL's from the Danish scene. We talked about his earlier days in CS Source all the way up to his current roster ALTERNATE aTTaX and what their plans are for the upcoming MDL playoffs.
You’ve been playing since the source days, a lot has changed since then. Not just with the game but with you as well. When you first heard that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was coming out what was your reaction? Were you ever afraid you wouldn't be able to make the big leap between the two games?
I really hated CS:GO in the beginning. The game was broken. So I was about to quit and just focus on my studies - but I gave it a shot and I think the beginning of CS:GO was really good for me. I was never afraid of nothing showing up in CS:GO. We pretty much, together with France, had the best CS:S scene. So we had a lot of talented players who were showing up at the beginning of CS:GO.
Adding onto that, how has your style of gameplay changed. What made you want to become an in-game leader? Was there somebody that you really looked up to when starting out this role?
My style has changed in this way, I needed to play with more confidence and to take my own duels and bring in more initiatives when we were playing. I didn't do that in CS:S, even when I was playing for top 5 teams in the world. Especially after stats were coming up from the tournaments and all the bad comments was created about me. I needed to stop looking into those topics there was created about me, mainly because I lost all kind of confidence and I was getting sad and mad in my real life as well. I'm not sure why I became an IGL back in the day. I loved the part in CS:S where we created strats, watching demos etc. So I think after watching almost every 1.6 match in 2010/11 and all CS:S demos - I was prepared to be my own in-game leader. I looked-up-to inCre(Stan) play style and Rytter - I played a lot with Rytter in CSS, and he taught me a lot about leading a team.
You have been a pretty influential IGL in the scene for quite some time now. People like MSL have even credited you with being one of the main reasons the Danish scene now has so many stars. What do you think sets you apart from other people playing the same role?
I'm really happy for all the credit I get from some of the best leaders in the world. I think they do that because I have been here for so long. I have played with almost everyone in CS:S and they were looking up to me at the end of CS:S, where my team and I were clearly number 1 in Denmark. I'm the kind of person who is not afraid of picking up a player with a bad attitude - because I know how to work with them. I want the best players on my team, and attitude is just a minor issue to fix.
That's a really good mindset to have. Speaking of players, What player do you think you have helped improve the most? Also, what team do you think you have had the most success with?
I think the player, I have helped the most is for sure Jugi. We had our issues but overall - I'm really happy to see Jugi being one of the most impactful AWP players in the world now. He was lacking a lot of communication and game sense to supporting his teammates - but we worked it out, and I hope he is really happy for all the guidelines I have done for him! I think the team I had the most success with was myXMG/CphWolves - we qualified for the major, we were close to making the big step into the big leagues - but we failed because we had really bad team chemistry and I was lacking a lot of firepower. I worked on that afterwards.
Earlier you mentioned that you’ve received a lot of hate in your career for not having super flashy stats. A majority of this ( I am presuming) came from your time on SK Gaming. How did that affect you, and what did you do to come back from this setback?
My time on SK and in the end of myXMG/Cphwolves was really hard for me. The community destroyed my confidence and few of my teammates were really hard to me as well. So when I decided to step down from SK, I was not sure if I wanted to continue with playing or being an analyst. So I took roughly 2 months away for the summer break, and I decided I wanted to beat SK - I finished my job in an online tournament - the day after they took my player. I never felt the pressure from the coaching/IGL role. If I wanted to continue playing, I needed to work on my own game because I needed the firepower. At that moment, we only had 1.0 rating - so it was only kills/death rating - not good for the supportive players.
For a majority of your career you have played specifically with Danish players, what made you want to switch to an international lineup? More specifically, why did you decide to join the German ALTERNATE aTTaX roster? Was it hard or easy making this leap into a new setting?
I think it was quite easy to try something different. We had a really good run with Tricked, I think we made it into the top 21 on the hltv rankings. But since we couldn't find a new home, es3tag went to Heroic - people wanted more changes. I think for my pov it was time to move on when I had the possibility to join a really strong organization as Alternate aTTaX.
The idea of putting together international rosters has been on the rise lately. Some of the best teams in the world are currently mixed with numerous different nationalities. Seeing as you've been in an international lineup for a while now, what do you think makes this so appealing to other organizations? Especially since communication can be such a barrier between success and utter failure.
I think when you decides to go for the Internationale lineup, you have a lot of players to pick between. The organizations wants the trophies, and the opportunities is getting better with international lineups. Almost every player is playing a lot of FPL/FPLC - so I think even when players are having issues with the English language, I think they learn fast to speak Counter-strike English. But when you decide to play with a deep structure, you need to be good at English as well, to guide and explain all the minor details.
With the addition of Console, You now have a fellow Danish teammate within the lineup. He has only been around for a few months now, but you guys have been quite successful. Most recently you qualified for the MDL playoffs, do you think this success has come from having a new face on the team? Console had a pretty big impact on Tricked before you guys picked him up.
I think we needed a player who could bring in some initiative to our play style. TiziaN did it a lot, and he was a big reason why we won ESL Germany so easily in December. Console brings a lot of initiatives and a lot of experience to the table from a winning Tricked lineup. So I think we are more well rounded now with Console on the team. So yes I think he has been the key for us lately
Speaking of MDL, you have come a long way from your 19th place finish during season 27. Since then, the lineup has gone through a numerous amount of changes. What change, whether it be roster related or some other reason, do you think has had the biggest impact on the team?
I just think we have been together for a long time now. The core of Me, Syrson and stfN are getting used to each other. syrsoN has been really good since tiziaN left the team and I think everyone is getting used to the play style. Console knows the play style from Inzta - We pretty much have the same play style. So it was easy for him to get into the team and come up with some inputs to make the playstyle even better. But overall I think the summer season is a practice season for us - and we are really happy to make it into the playoffs.
Has the removal of a promotion to EPL or a LAN event faltered your determination to grab that 1-3rd place spot in the upcoming MDL playoffs?
I don't think the hype is the same for the summer season. You play the season to avoid relegation and not to win it - That is not good imo. The European MDL is really close every season, so if you decide to fuck up for 3 or 4 games - you are close to ending up in the relegation.. But now we hit the Playoffs, and we will try to be prepared for the finals - we want to win it now! :-)
Hopefully the next season will be just as good as the summer one, maybe we will see you in EPL sometime soon. Looking into the future, what are your goals? both personally and with aTTaX.
I hope we can bring in the same amount of energy and be prepared for every single bo1 in the regular season - because we are going to need that if we want to fight for the EPL spots next season. Alternate aTTaX always wants to win the German championships like 99damage league and ESL Germany - so that's few of the goals for them. We have done some goals together as well, I wanted to hit top 30 before 2018 ends - I think we have the lineup to do that now, but we need the motivation and fire to do it! For my own goals - I want to continue having a position form, I want to get more firepower, put more hours into the tactical part of the game again - I'm going to grind a lot after this summer break, I'm motivated AF!
sounds like you guys have a lot planned for the future. Alright one final Question; are there any up and coming players that people should be keeping an eye on?
I have a lot of things planned, I hope my team will follow me after their summer breaks ;-) Faven from Euronics, if you haven't noticed him owning every tier3 team atm - Snedker from Tricked and TeSeS from Sqaured - They will surprise a lot of people in 2018/2019 :-)