The runaway success of Astralis has been a success story for all of Denmark, with the nation’s leader even jumping on the bandwagon, but it may now be that the same Danish government are trying to exploit that success for more sinister means. Just as we’ve seen with the US Air Force and Cloud9’s Major-winning team, the Danish government is trying to parlay Astralis’ success into a recruitment drive for the military, with gamers the target of the recruiting parties, who presumably want to turn them into real-life killers.
Before we get into the moral implications, the first thing to point out is that there is no connection between violence in games and in real life, as a recent University of Oxford study has proven, meaning the Danish military are barking up the wrong tree from the get-go. If violent games don’t make serial killers, that applies to killers in uniform, too, so quite why this is going to work from a technical point of view is tough to discern, despite claims to the contrary after test "which have included the involvement of Danish e-sports team Astralis".
Quite why Astralis would willingly do this is tough to fathom, although it might be more clear when you realise their owners were given a massive grant by the Danish government, which probably greased many palms. The connection between IRL violence and gaming is potentially more damaging to CSGO orgs than other teams in other games, too, making it doubly doubtful that they would have been 100% happy to do this of their own volition (although of course we cannot know for sure they were told to go).
Then there is the moral question. There is no doubt that the military is a divisive and potentially dangerous career for young people to enter today, and that many parents concerned with the future their children might have would shudder at the thought of their little Frank or Felicity on the front line. Danish parents will be no different to the rest, so associating the new, exciting and risk-free esports with bombs, guns and warfare seems to be a bit of a silly move, just as it’s catching mainstream eyes across the nation.
Equally, Astralis as an organisation are now inherently linked with the military, just as C9 are after they sold their souls for some government specie. C9 even sell tops with USAF branding on them, and while you can imagine military support is significantly more common in the states than a nation like Denmark that would present a conundrum for parents who might not want to see their children die in combat, albeit only if they noticed.
In the case of Astralis, they have not gone down the road of actually advertising the military career just yet, but this is a test for them in their role as de facto best team in CSGO. They have a chance to set a good, inclusive example and reject association with warfare, not only for their own good but for the sake of esports too, and now is the time to act if they want to maintain the moral high ground to match their in-game superiority.