Different nations of the world have very different approaches to their esports scenes. Some countries’ legislators have barely taken notice of esports. Other governments are actively fostering competitive gaming. Now, Denmark has taken a positive step by publishing the country’s first definitive esports strategy.
The announcement came last week in Copenhagen with Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and the Minister of Culture Mette Brock revealing their plan for developing Danish esports.
The Esports Panel
To help the country achieve this, a special panel, somewhat unimaginatively named the Esports Panel, is tasked with strategic development. The panel looks to encourage youngsters in Denmark to play esports (with an equal focus on women participating) and fostering the talent already evident within the country.
Furthermore, the panel will look to address some parental concerns and nurture healthy communities around gaming. Particularly heartening about the creation of this panel is that the government is targeting problematic areas within esports. These include cheating, skin betting, and misogynistic or racist behavior within esports communities.
The broadest aim of the panel is to set up a positive, sustainable, viable, and profitable esports infrastructure across Denmark.
Denmark’s positive attitude toward esports
It is not surprising Denmark is a leader here. The country is home to some of the best esports teams and players in the world today. CS:GO giants Astralis, who were the first winners of the Intel Grand Slam $1,000,000 bonus a few months back, are international stars.
Additionally, esports representatives of professional football team Brondby, who play out of Copenhagen, have won the FIFA eClub World Cup on two occasions, in 2017 and 2018. Most recently, a different team of esports FIFA players represented Denmark at the recent FIFA eNations Cup and reached the semifinals.
In Dota 2, Johan Sundstein, known as “N0tail” was the second-highest earning player in the world for all esports in 2018. He pocketed over $3.75 million dollars throughout the year. And eight Danish players, three from Dota 2 and the five members of Astralis, earned over $1,000,000 in prize money last year.
The Danish government estimates half the adult population of the country play esports or similar computer games. For teenage boys, that number swells to an incredible 96 percent, and half play on a daily basis. Esports’ huge popularity in the country is not just mirrored by the success of its teams and individuals. As a nation, Denmark punches significantly above its weight within the top levels of professional esports.
If you take the highest earnings by players from an individual country, Denmark is in some pretty elite company.
Esports Highest Earnings by Country (source – www.esportsearnings.com)
- United States – $99.4 million (13,026 players)
- China – $89.1 million (3523 players)
- South Korea – $75.1 million (3390 players)
- Sweden – $31 million (2283 players)
- Denmark – $26.2 million (1307 players)
However, when you work out the average amount won by an individual esports player in each country, thus contributing to the overall total, the results are even more weighted in the Danes’ favor.
- China – $25,291 per player
- South Korea – $22,153 per player
- Denmark – $20,046 per player
- Sweden – $13,579 per player
- United States – $7,631 per player
That Denmark has achieved this dominance without a coherent, over-arching strategy at the national level is a testament to how the esports scene has thrived on its own. Now with federal support, we can only imagine the next 10 years.
Image credit: Dan Mullan – FIFA / Contributor / Getty Images