Investing In The Nordic Esports Ecosystem


The Nordic Esports Ecosystem is a unique environment, shaped by high-quality infrastructure and favorable government legislation. As such, it is possible to make both lucrative investments in the Nordic region as well as serve local audiences.

The following includes some of the most important factors that distinguish the Nordic esports ecosystem from others and what international investors need to understand for participation in this field.


The Nordic countries are often at the forefront when it comes to digitalization. To some extent, this is a result of being able to learn from previous mistakes and successes of other parts of the world; however, there are regional characteristics that help Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have such an extensive coverage as well as high speed broadband internet in other local areas. The latter, in particular, helps gamers play online together and as such increases the amount of esports enthusiasts.


The different Nordic countries have high-quality internet infrastructure throughout their whole territory, which makes it possible for global digital services to be offered from that region. Many of the major companies that have started or relocated operations there can present similar cases of success, including Spotify (Sweden), King (Norway) and Mojang (Sweden).

Tax advantages are one of the main reasons why multinational companies are moving their head offices to the Nordic countries. Taxes also represent a strong incentive for international investors who wish to invest in this field. This is also one reason why so many games publishers establish their in-house studios in the region.


The Nordic countries have a relatively high corporate tax rate, but low personal taxes. This means that creative individuals who produce and own valuable IP might still be able to keep some of it after all taxes are paid - investing it back into the next project or even start something new.


Many games publishers as well as technology companies choose to establish their in-house studios in the Nordic regions for two main reasons: access to local talents and cost effectiveness. The latter is due to both favorable tax schemes and lower costs of living when compared with larger metropolitan areas such as London, New York City or Silicon Valley.

Sweden has been ranked #1 for ICT-intensity per capita by OECD. It has also been ranked #4 for both R&D intensity per capita as well as productivity in high-tech manufacturing. These figures reflect a region where technology and creative industries are strong, providing both investors and studios with access to highly specialized human resources.


Another factor that makes investing in esports more promising is favorable government legislation, which helps reduce unnecessary risk and provides clarity on how companies can operate. For example, Sweden's digital services tax (which means that companies established in the country do not have to pay VAT when they sell games or services digitally to consumers there) have helped make up some of the cost difference when compared with other markets – something that attracts investors from all over the world.


The Scandinavian countries are known for having a very high quality of life (and possibly not the best salaries). This means that the local population is increasingly looking to other markets where they can make more money in less time. Sweden, Norway and Denmark all have a young adult population with low unemployment. According to Eurostat [EuropSTAT link] , youth unemployment rate was 8% in Sweden, 5% in Norway and 7% in Denmark, compared to 15-to-24 year olds elsewhere in Europe at 23%. As such, it is no surprise why so many talented individuals choose to work within esports while still pursuing their degrees and/or careers.


The Nordic countries have established themselves as being at the forefront of esports-related legislation. Due to its geographical position, Finland has been able to take advantage of several EU funds designed for innovation development – something it is now also offering into neighboring countries through the Finnish Game Foundation. (https://www.gamefoundations.fi/en). Norway has also taken steps towards making the esports industry a legitimate business with a focus on player's rights and welfare management, with similar legal frameworks being presented in Sweden and Denmark [Nordic Game Institute] (http://nordicgameinstitute.com/).


This progressive legislation is what attracts both investors as well as talent from all over the world to set up operations there – creating vibrant ecosystems that are competitive both locally and globally. It also helps create strong synergies between interested parties - for example by promoting local events, helping attract international investment or even encouraging collaboration between competing teams in order to share access to know-how.


For more information about investing in the Nordic esports ecosystem, please contact us via email - angelica.sirotin@gmail.com

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