Astralis convinces Danish armed forces that they need more gamers

By Olivia Richman


Mar 26, 2019

Reading time: 2 min

The Danish armed forces is looking for gamers.

The Danish Defense, or Forsvaret, feels that gamers could make great pilots, flight commAanders, and radar operators.

“Gamers have certain skills in remaining calm under pressure, faster reactions than other young people, quick decision making, good teamwork skills, orientation, and strong ability to visualize,” Major Anders Bech, head of section with the Danish Ministry of Defense’s Personnel Agency, said.

The assessment that gamers would benefit the Danish armed forces resulted from several trials, which included the involvement of domestic Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis. The army tested the squad’s reaction times, memory, and hand-eye coordination. The Astralis boys did better than the average young adults in the trial. 

The positive response to these trials was followed by equally positive response to the army’s consequential recruitment tactics.

In 2017, Bech said the army specifically targeted gamers for the first time, being more visible on platforms frequented by them. As a result, they received twice as many such applicants. According to Bech, they were able to easily find qualified applicants for their flight leader program, which is their most difficult program.

As a result of this recruitment boom, Danish Defense is starting an official partnership with Esport Denmark, the federation for esports in the country. It is hoped that this partnership will continue to increase their number of applicants with the necessary skills for these demanding jobs.

“It’s hard to say how much of a gamer you should be. That will be put to the test when applying with us,” Bech said.

Applicants will receive a test after applying, looking further into the core skills it takes to be a soldier. While gamers have a lot of the attributes that help them in high stress and tactical situations, further requirements beyond what the typical gamer may possess still need to be assessed.

Denmark’s military is holding ongoing tests throughout the year.