ESL Pro League Odense
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Denmark: the first country to have an esports strategy

Denmark is the first country in the world that have a planned esports strategy to help the growth, development and integration of the industry.
Written by Joakim Henningson
3 min readPublished on
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Esports is a force to be reckoned with. Period. Although the industry already now is huge, it's continuing to grow, and picking up speed. Massive social networks, huge competitions, global and up-coming generations who are brought up with social networks and gaming, esports is the now AND the future. For those who already follows esports, they know, but for the rest, it's just a matter of time.
Denmark's Prime Minister - Astralis newest member?

Denmark's Prime Minister - Astralis newest member?

© RFRSH Entertainment

As esports equaled the amount of viewership with the National Basketball Association, or NBA, last year, esports has since surpassed it. Esports is bigger than NBA. It is that big. And many analysts believe it's going to be the biggest sports in the world in a not at all too distant future. When the generations z and x (the ones preceding the millennials), already heavily influenced by streamers, esports and gaming, starts to impact the society in a more considerable way – esports will sky rocket in popularity and as social constructs. Few of the Generation Z och X doesn’t know who Ninja and Pewdiepie are. The heroes and influencers are shifting from footballers and actors, to streamers and gamers.
We must ensure a good framework for the sport. Esports is in fast-paced sporting and economic development.
Mette Bock, Danish Minister of Culture
The phenomenon that is esports begins to seep into the very fabrics of society, becoming a culture of its own right. There are schools that educates in esports and gaming and you can now get a scholarship, if you’re talented, for competing and representing your school. Just like, football, hockey or any other of the big sports. The once “hobby” is now a political question.
ESL Pro League in Odense is an example of Denmark's commitment

ESL Pro League in Odense is an example of Denmark's commitment

© ESL/Helena Kristiansson

The Danes have understood the importance of esports, and maybe more vital, the importance to understand what esports is and where it comes from. Nobody can doubt where it’s going. When challenged by something new, many shy away – waiting unprepared for the inevitable to happen, instead of trying to understand and make a plan, to be successfully prepared for what’s to come. Denmark’s Ministry of Culture have done just that. They’ve made a plan with key areas that needs special focus:
  • The building of a sustainable, top-to-bottom structure for Danish esports
  • The strengthening of national talent development
  • Establishing a common vision for esports’ integrity, such as tackling toxicity, cheating and skin gambling
  • The development of communities and associations and how they can impact the lives of players
  • How to attract more women and girls to esports
  • How to create good commercial development opportunities for growth, entrepreneurship and employment for esports in Denmark
  • Other focus areas (revision of laws, rules, etc.) that can support the development of esports
Every modern country should follow Denmark's example. Esports is here and it's here to stay. Understand it, nurture it and learn about everything around and involved in it. The Danish government will surely influence other governments to do just that - to make an esports strategy. Danish Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, even visited CS:GO heavyweights Astralis to see what they were up to, and playing a few games - don't you just love that?
Steps like these are tremendously crucial for both the sport and culture, to help integration into the society in the best way possible. We are happy to say it: esports has a bright future.
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