The Danish Game Awards: Where esports kings live

There are many people in esports who will tell you Korea is the heart and soul of the world when it comes to competitive gaming, and there are a few good reasons to think that way.

The Koreans essentially made StarCraft a competitive title, at a time when esports in the west was largely a niche pastime for a few nerds, and have dominated in not just StarCraft, but also the wildly popular League of Legends for a while now, which confirms their superiority in the eyes of people who already felt that way.

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However, when it comes to today it is only Riot’s sealed universe and the Overwatch League where Korea is dominant, and in the other two big esports, the nation's presence is negligible. Dota 2 is dominated by China if by any Asian region, and Koreans in CS:GO are by and large an afterthought, with a couple of orgs staying faithful, but the majority preferring to select their shooters from elsewhere.

No, if you want to talk about the big boy games in 2019, it’s Denmark, not Korea, that you need to pay attention to.

Picture: Copyright ESL / Bart Oerbekke

Northern lights

We’re at that point of the year when the esports awards are being handed out, and it’s fair to say not all awards are equal. Some are clearly just mates blowing smoke up each other, and there are some nomination lists that make it very clear the panellists have little to no knowledge of the game or player in question.

However, the list for Danish Esports Star of the Year is all killer, no filler.

Esports Star of the Year nominees

  • N0tail
  • dev1ce
  • Dupreeh
  • Magisk
  • Bjergsen
  • Marcuzo

To start at the blunt end, you have a man named Marcus ‘Marcuzo’ Jørgensen , who might be the least well-known of the list to most fans, being as he is a FIFA Pro for North.

He had a pretty good year, taking the eSuperliga title and 180,000kr for his efforts, as well as 3rd-4th at the eChampions League Finals, but as a Dane who plays games he’s very much being asked to stay in his lane.

Next up is Søren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg, who mos will know as a TSM player and now also part-owner, because apparently that’s not going to be a problem down the line. He had an ok year for his team, but overall TSM didn’t pull up any trees and it feels like he’s there to make up the numbers and prove that Denmark also has big names in League of Legends.

Gunning for glory

The real highlights are in the big-boy games. If you love a good gun game, then your choice is incredible. Astralis, already the greatest team in CS history, actually had a relatively poor year compared to their previous best, with just the two Major titles in 2019, and Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz, Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen and Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif all make the list as a result.

The only real question mark over their inclusion is probably the fact only three of the five Astralis boys were nominated, but there are some special names in the Danish scene. Xyp9x and Gla1ve are exceptional talents, and both could have been included alongside their teammates, but there is one more man Denmark could not ignore when it came to recognising the best of the best from the land of back bacon.

Copyright: Helena Kristiansson / ESL

At 26 years old, Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein is the most financially successful person in esports history, having won nearly $7m dollars in his career. Back-to-back TI titles have established the N0tail/Ceb axis as arguably the greatest brains trust in Dota history, and there was never a chance that OG’s heart, soul and flower would be omitted from this list after making history in Dota, and taking home the biggest prize pool in esports history, twice.

As a final note, if one were needed, it’s worth pointing out that Danes aren’t just winning things by being better. Both OG and Astralis can be materially proven to have advanced the meta of the game they have dominated, and won by more than just fast hands and high APMs, meaning the legacy will last long beyond the careers of the current legends.

All in all, Denmark’s place in esports is already established, and 2019 has only enhanced their reputation for esports excellence.

Danish Game Awards 2019

The Danish Game AWards take place on Decemeber 5th 2019 at the Odense Congress Center.