Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events, which take place around the world.
Situated in the north of Europe, Norway is a forward-thinking, advanced economy that has embraced esports and gaming with open arms — similarly to its Scandinavian neighbours Denmark and Sweden.
Norway’s esports scene arguably may not match the scale of its two Scandinavian siblings, but there’s plenty to unpack regardless. The country is home to high-profile esports organisations, including Heroic, SKADE and 00Nation (formerly Nordavind).
Major winner Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard is perhaps the best known CS:GO player from Norway, which is also well-represented in Dota 2 and PUBG. Norway additionally has a strong Fortnite scene; some of the best Fortnite players in Europe, like Emil ‘Nyhrox’ Bergquist Pedersen, come from the Nordic country.
Norwegian League of Legends teams participate in the Northern League of Legends Championship, Riot Games’ official league in the Nordics. The country is also home to The Gathering, the second-largest LAN party in the world.
The country also has a steady stream of esports tournaments, including the Telia League and Fragleague. However, it lacks a major tier one event or stop in a tournament series, unlike many of its neighbours, for example Sweden’s Dreamhack events or Poland’s IEM Katowice.
The country’s TV2 television station, however, has regularly broadcasted esports tournaments, and esports is slowly making its way into schools and universities. Norway was one of the first countries to include esports in a high school’s curriculum in 2016.
On the regulation front, Norway was one of the first to implement sanctions of skin betting. Interestingly, the Norwegian Esports Association is a partner of Cyberforsvaret, Norway’s cyber defence force, a branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces — though esports is not explicitly considered sport in Denmark. Additionally, SKADE teamed up with the Federation of Norwegian Industries last year to recruit esports fans into Norwegian industrial companies.
The Norwegian government does not appear to have explicitly recognised esports as sports inside the country.
Notable Tournaments & Leagues
Norway is home to a fair number of esports tournaments and leagues, and is also a part of some major regional leagues, such as the NLC. However, the prize pools for the regional and Norwegian leagues remain relatively low.
|Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC)
|Telia League (Telia Ligaen)
|Leagues.gg Winter Showdown
|The Gathering (LAN party)
Notable Esports Organisations
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.
National Association(s) / Federation(s)
Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.
Norway saw a high school add esports into its curriculum back in 2016, one of the first to do so. There are also a number of educational institutions in the country that have esports subsections, as well as college esports degrees such as the one at the University of Agder.
Additionally, Norwegian esports organisation SKADE has made moves in education by providing online and physical education on esports topics. The organisation works with a number of schools in Norway, as well as the Stockholm University.
This is a preliminary country profile and will be updated over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at: [email protected].