Every year, igaming attracts a global audience of approximately 2.5 billion players.
Esports is particularly popular with 450 million fans – and by 2022, this figure is expected to rise by at least 200 million. Sweden has made an incredible impact in this action-packed category, surpassed only by South Korea, China and America. But does Sweden have the resources to be a dominant force in the future?
There are around 4.2 million participants in esport Sverige, which is almost half the country’s ten million population. Sweden has been involved in esports a long time and twice a year hosts the world’s largest digital convention, DreamHack, in Jönköping. The highlight of each festival is live esports competitions with top international gamers.
It’s largely due to DreamHack that Sweden has steadily built such a keen interest in esports. It began as a school computer club more than 25 years ago and has steadily grown, promoting teams that are now ranked amongst the best in the world. But it’s Sweden’s strong commitment to esports that has given its players the encouragement to become some of the most successful players.
From the beginning, Sweden has treated esports as a serious form of entertainment. It has developed a strict code of conduct to ensure there’s good behaviour and an atmosphere of respect that has made esport Sverige a welcoming environment for everyone. The code also contains advice on how players should conduct themselves during interviews.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is even being taught at some schools as part of the regular curriculum. And there are boot camps for teenagers where they can meet professional players and learn valuable tips on how to play successfully. It’s the involvement of top gamers and teams such as Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance and Fnatic that has helped to give esports in Sweden such a competitive edge. Everyone is given an equal chance to show their skills, as even the National Team is selected each year by staging a competition that’s open to all.
It’s the variety within esport Sverige that makes it so appealing to literally millions of worldwide viewers. There’s action, speed and excitement that’s all played out in real-time, making games such as Dota 2 and League of Leagues perfect for gambling. Viewers can be part of the action by placing bets on their favourite players, games or strategies. According to Spelinspektionen, approximately 60% of adults in Sweden gamble each year with a large proportion of bets being placed on esports. The games always feature plenty of exciting action that attracts up to 190 million spectators from around the world.
The country’s determination and dedication in encouraging teenagers to become esports players has established a reliable framework. Introducing a code of behaviour and the involvement of today’s star players must surely indicate that Sweden’s future in esports is assured.