Jul 02, 2019

Denmark And Its Success In Esports

Today we take a closer look at why Denmark is leading the esports revolution in Europe.

  • How can other nations learn from how Denmark has handled esports?
  • What steps are being taken in the UK to increase esports awareness and economic viability?

The esports industry has well and truly exploded in the western world. In Europe, thousands travel to events across the continent, with millions watching online. 

With such a following, it’s no surprise that money has started pouring into the scene. Major brands are now involved with teams and events in most countries in Europe. 

But one nation is setting a shining example that others could look to follow.

At a press event earlier this year, Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, enjoyed a session of Counter-Strike with the major-winning Astralis side. 

It’s not the first time he’s gotten involved with the Danish organisation either. Rasmussen has also made an appearance at the BLAST event in Copenhagen, run by Astralis parent company - RFRSH.

Prior to that, Astralis were also invited to the Danish parliament after their first CS:GO Major victory. Safe to say, Denmark is all about esports.

This, at a time when Endpoint, a UK based organisation, have to release two foreign players because they cannot get a work permit for their players. 

Historically, foreign players have had issues competing in the United Kingdom for years. That was fine when esports was an unknown entity lurking in the shadows - but we’re now talking about an industry potentially worth billions.

It comes as no surprise that while Astralis (and other Danish organisations) continue to build up international reputations with world-class players and form partnerships with influential brands, UK-based esports organisations struggle to make an impact.

Only Excel - run by brothers Kieran and Joel Holmes-Darby out of Twickenham  - and Fnatic - By Sam Matthews out of Shoreditch - have managed to have a big impact on the global esports scene.

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Our Managing Director, Kieran Holmes-Darby, co-founded Excel Esports in 2014 with his brother Joel. Kieran’s always been into gaming. He remembers the beginning of his career leading back to 2006 when he played World of Warcraft on a laptop that could barely run it, soon after he got into Call of Duty 4 and other larger titles. Kieran started playing league in 2016, he is currently Bronze 1 but hopes to reach Gold by the end of the season. Kieran currently mains Xin Zhao and occasionally plays J4. Kieran tries to keep an active lifestyle. He enjoys swimming, going to the gym and regularly playing football with his mates on weeknights. Kieran was recently introduced to ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Jane the virgin’ by his girlfriend and says he absolutely loves both shows and would suggest them to anyone. Kieran says he doesn’t particularly have a phobia, but he feels extremely unpleasant in dark places, he reckons that the feeling was caused by his older brother hiding in dark corners and jump scarring him when they were younger. During university, Kieran’s aspiration was to become a Lawyer, but that quickly changed when Excel thrived. Kieran turned away his training contract with a Law firm and devoted all his time to growing Excel. . . . #gaming #esportsteam #esports #leagueoflegendsplays #esportsnews #leagueoflegendsvideos #esportsdaily #esportslife #lolesports #proplayer #eleague #leagueoflegendsmeme #esportsfans #leagueoflegendsart #leagueoflegendscontent #esportstournament #gamingphotography #esportsphotography #leagueoflegendsislife #lcs #gaminggear #progamers #leagueoflegendsfanart #esportsgear #leagueoflegends #lec #pcgaming101

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The two companies represent a positive development for esports in the UK, both in terms of player acceptance and economic viability. Fnatic have secured lucrative deals with Monster Energy and OnePlus, while also launching their own clothing and accessory brand. Excel on the other hand have made Twickenham Stadium their home, with an in-built esports facility at the stadium.

After his gaming session with Astralis, Rasmussen went onto to call the team 'role models' to the younger generation in Denmark, and insists that Denmark will move to create an 'esports panel' to ensure the growth of the industry. 

While it’s slightly too early to tell exactly what that entails, it does show that the nation is serious about promoting the industry as a viable career path and a largely accepted hobby for the next generation of Danes.

All forecasts point to continued growth for the esports industry as children across the world unplug their TVs and find entertainment in video games and online streaming. If that holds true, Danish children and young adults will reap the benefits of this acceptance for years to come.

Not only that, but Danish-based organisations will continue to form groundbreaking partnerships with international brands, who know that their investment is safe. Astralis have already joined up with: Jack and Jones, Audi, and Unibet.

If that is to be the future, more European countries should look to Denmark - the nation that has taken over from the early esports adopters - like Sweden and Poland - as the capital of esports in Europe.