Understanding Nordic esports dominance in Europe

By William Davis


Sep 27, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

These countries are also more supportive of their young people, which has allowed them to follow their dreams and chase success. Hopefully other countrScandinavian countries are known for their Viking past, their amazing social programs and benefits, and their legends of Nordic gods, goddesses and giants. These days, there may not be any hammer wielding gods or ice queens, but there certainly are giants. This time it’s esports throughout the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Some of the biggest esports players that are active today are from a handful of Scandinavian countries including players like Patrick “f0rest” Lindberg and Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson are from Nordic. And this region is also home to some of the most formidable esports teams such as the Danish Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis and the Swedish team Fnatic.

While the accomplishments of these Scandinavian countries cannot be denied, the question really is, why are these countries so dominant in the esports industry? 

Highly developed national infrastructure

Your first guess might be that all of these countries have long, dark, harsh winters that require a significant amount of indoor time. While this might be a contributing factor, it is not actually one of the main reasons why the Nordic countries have produced such dominant gamers.

A more significant reason why the Nordic countries are so dominant in esports is because of the level of digital infrastructure in the Scandinavian countries. Scandinavia was an early adopter of digital infrastructure and provided internet access to their citizens before many other countries and regions had done so.

During the 1990s, many Nordic governments were already starting to develop and build their IT infrastructure. This meant that they did not need to rely on the progress — or prices — of private companies. They were also able to start developing and rolling out IT infrastructure years before many countries even began to consider the importance of a digital economy.

The interest in digital infrastructure has continued and the Scandinavian countries continue to rank quite highly in the Worldwide Broadband Speed League competitions.

The socialist superstate

Those of us who are not lucky enough to live in Scandinavian countries are constantly hearing about the amazing social benefits and support which the citizens of these countries receive. The benefits extend beyond maternity and paternity leave and include a huge amount of support from the governments and media when it comes to esports.

Rather than viewing esports as a “gaming disorder,” the Nordic countries have viewed it as yet another sport which involves skill, dedication and practice. This means that the entire culture has been supportive of esports players. A number of prime ministers have even visited esports offices and honored their successes.

Aside from the cultural support offered to players and the industry at large, the Scandinavian social support systems have also given many young Nordic people a much greater sense of freedom than many of their counterparts around the world.

Nordic countries such as Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway all provide excellent support for job seekers and young people. This means that young people are not crushed by school debt or by the pressure to quickly start making money and supporting themselves. Instead, they have the freedom to explore alternative, potentially less lucrative career paths. This freedom has led many young Nordic people to be more open to trying a career in esports than their European, Asian or North American counterparts might be.

Innovation and technological development

The governments in the Nordics are more likely to invest in new, innovative technology and platforms than many of their European neighbors to the south. This has led to an explosion in creativity and new technology from the Nordic countries.

This growth in technological development and creativity has reached outside of the bounds of the esports industry and includes a number of other digital industries. One of the biggest and most popular digital industries today is online gambling, and this has exploded in popularity over the course of the last five years or so.

There are now hundreds of different online casinos for prospective gamblers to choose from, all of which offer innovative, engaging and immersive gaming experiences. The huge amount of choice can feel intimidating for some gamblers, but thankfully there are sites such as Suomennetticasino.com, which feature the top online casinos in various regions.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, there are a number of significant factors which have led to the Nordic dominance of the esports industry. The bottom line is that the Scandinavian countries recognized the significance of IT infrastructure and the digital economy, including esports, before other countries, and this has set them ahead of the rest.