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.
While still not recognised as a sport in the country, Sweden has a long and rich history in esports, and the Swedish people are some of the most passionate cohorts of esports fans. Fabled tournaments such as DreamHack Winter and DreamHack Summer are traditionally held in Sweden, and the country has played host to a range of championships across several game titles.
The nation also hosts the world’s largest LAN party and computer festival in the form of DreamHack. Starting in the 1990s, DreamHack’s massive LAN parties played an important part in the evolution and growth of esports, developing from a gathering of enthusiasts to professional esports events. Today, fans come from across the globe to attend.
Several internationally notable esports organisations hail from Sweden, including Ninjas In Pyjamas, GODSENT and Alliance. Stockholm-based Modern Times Group previously owned ESL Gaming and DreamHack until it they were bought by Savvy Gaming Group in January 2022 for a reported $1.5bn (~£1.1bn).
Sweden is home to some of the best esports talent in certain esports titles and some of the highest earners in esports history. Counter-Strike is one of the biggest esports in Sweden and the country has resultingly bred some of the most notable professional players in the game.
Players such as Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund and Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg were both part of the iconic Swedish Ninjas in Pyjamas lineup that dominated the early, formative years of the game. Sweden has also had several notable female pro players, such as Counter-Strike and VALORANT pro Julia ‘juliano’ Kiran.
The Swedish government does not appear to have directly issued a stance on esports. However, Sweden’s National Sports Confederation — the umbrella organisation for sport in Sweden which takes funding from the government — voted in May 2023 to admit the Swedish Esports Association into the Confederation. The 108 to 71 vote came despite the Confederation’s board recommending against admitting esports.
The Confederation represents the interests of its member sports to politicians and other stakeholders, as well as receives and distributes government funding, which the esports association is now elegible for given its membership.
The vote followed the Swedish Sports Confederation’s initial decision in a 2021 vote not to accept esports. As a result of the failed 2021 voted, Valve had to relocate The International 2021, which was meant to take place in Sweden, elsewhere due to visa and logistical issues resulting from its lack of official status as a sport.
Notable Tournaments & Leagues
While no longer one of the prime destinations in the esports calendar, Sweden has hosted some major tournaments, with the country still winning notable top-tier events in recent years.
|PGL Major Stockholm 2021
|Rainbow Six Seige Sweden Major
|ESL One Stockholm 2022
|RLCS 2021-22 Fall Split Major
|ESL Challenger Jonköping
|Pinnacle Cup Championship
|Six Invitational 2022
Notable Esports Organisations
Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.
National Associations / Federations
Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgement from ESI of its authority, works or official capacity.
Two schools have reportedly launched full-time esports degrees, Aelandagymanasiet and Strömbäcks Folkhögskola, claiming to offer courses for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, though the current status of the courses is unclear.
Moreover, Sverok (Swedish Roleplaying and Conflict Gaming Federation) is a non-profit youth gaming organisation in Sweden. It helps organise and promote gaming as a hobby in the country and the setup of local clubs. It additionally has put together a code of conduct for players, parents and organisers.
This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected]. Article first published: March 24th 2022. Last updated: July 31st 2023.