Denmark is one of the most developed countries in esports. How is everything arranged there?

Denmark has a rich history in esports and is one of the most dominant esports nations in Europe. The Scandinavian country, a region known for its formative role in the early growth of the industry, has been actively involved in e-sports since the early 2000s and enjoys government support.

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The country stood at the origins of the development of the industry

The Counter-Strike franchise, from its inception to this day, has been the country’s premier sport, with a history that helped bring esports to the masses – not only domestically in Denmark, but around the world.

Thanks to early investments in digital infrastructure, the gaming industry and esports have very high engagement in Denmark. According to Statistics Denmark – Denmark’s central statistical authority – 52 percent of men and 50 percent of women over the age of 16 play games, and one in four citizens play every day or almost every day.

In March 2022, Astralis, the leading Danish e-sports organization, partnered with the Confederation of Danish Industries to support the development of the industry in the country. The same organization is a partner of the Danish trade union HK Privat, the second largest trade union in the country.

Despite growing commercial success and popularity among ordinary Danes, e-sports in Denmark is fragmented between stakeholders and some e-sports business owners lack the necessary business skills, according to a 2019 report from the Danish Ministries of Culture and Industry, Business and Finance.

Unfortunately, well-known Danish e-sports organizations Tricked Esport and Copenhagen Flames both filed for bankruptcy in 2023. Meanwhile, major Danish e-sports organization Astralis has voted to withdraw its shares from the Danish NASDAQ stock exchange. However, energy drink brand Red Bull opened its biggest venue in Denmark in 2023, the Red Bull Gaming Sphere Aarhus.

Government recognition

Denmark is one of the few countries where the government actively supports e-sports. In 2018, the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen gave the opening stage performance at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen 2018 and previously described the Danish CS:GO team Astralis as “exemplary”.

Denmark was the first country to have a clearly defined national strategy for the development of esports. A report from the Danish Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Industry, Business and Finance said that the government wanted to support the spread of e-sports and spoke of the need for a sustainable structure.

It was also said that the government has launched a “strategic effort” with a DKK 10 million fund available from 2019 to 2022 to “support projects that will strengthen Denmark’s position as a leading nation in e-sports and give increased attention to e-sports across the country.”

In 2020, the Danish Tax Board (Skatterådet) recognized that e-sports are grassroots sports like football, handball and other activities organized by associations, a decision that makes e-sports associations in the country exempt from value added tax. cost (VAT).

Significant tournaments, leagues and organizations

Denmark is home to many top flagship tournaments. First of all, BLAST is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The ESL Pro League and EU LCS have also hosted events in this country.

The following organizations are based in the country:

  • Astralis;
  • Team Singularity;
  • OG Esports;

And those are just the big names.

Educational initiatives

Several Danish educational institutions have integrated e-sports into curricula and activities, including middle and high schools.

In addition, Astralis manages Astralis Talent, a talent development program by the academic team of the Astralis group.

Moreover, there is a culture of locally organized traditional sports clubs in Denmark. eSports DGI – an umbrella organization that supports sports clubs in Denmark – has expanded its infrastructure to support the development and participation of local eSports clubs in the country.