DRAMMEN, NORWAY
It’s not a huge mystery why Norway is so far behind everyone else when it comes to organizing and recognizing eSports events or teams. The main question is what we can do about it?
This is something we tried to ask those who where present at this “Theme Eveningin Drammen.

Per Tøyen NIF - Tema kveld Drammen
Per Tøyen (NIF) talks about sexualization and violence – Photo: Kim Hansen, Ulvespill

Per Tøyen from NIF held a small lecture about the many questions they ask regarding eSport and how eSport runs in Norway today. The main issue NIF have that needs to be answered is how the eSport should run in Norway, sexualization and violence in video games. He used Jaina from Hearthstone as an example of the sexualization.   
hearthstone_wallpaper___jaina_v2_by_mgbeach-d6tqdoxBut he did have some pointers we need to think about, can we compare eSports with other types of sports? Is it physically demanding? If the Norwegian eSports wants to join NIF, we have to decide how we want to organize and do so.

We had a little talk with the manager of Air eSport where we asked about this and more. Air eSport recently partnered up with DBK, and that opens up a lot of doors for the eSport community in Drammen.

Bjørnar Teigen - Tema Kveld Drammen
Bjørnar Teigen Manager of Air eSport – Photo: Kim Hansen, Ulvespill

What is Air eSport?

Air eSport is an eSport club that recruits players in Norway, to start a focus as a top club.”

What can you offer the players?

We can offer trainers and training to get to a top level”

What games are you offering training in?

At the moment we have trainers in Hearthstone and League of Legends. We are also aiming to get someone within Rocket League.”

Do you have any collaborative partners?

At the moment we are in partnership with Drammen Ballklubb, we have also collaborated with The Link

During the debate today, focus was placed on physical activity within eSport. Do you have any measures to handle it?

Physical activity is one of the requirements we put on players, this is something we enter into the contracts we write with them. During the previous event (The Link) we demanded that all players had to go for a walk before a match to freshen up a little. We also demands that they take care of health since they must perform well for up to several hours.”

What are you going to achieve on the social?

“We will create a social and safe environment where people can meet to take part in their interests”

What will they focus on?

“We need to find ways to get funding in order to finance. A personal goal I have is that I want to bring two players from the Drammen area with me to the top.”

After other lectures about the term gaming, gaming disorder and what they can offer troubled youth, a Member of the Parliament of the Family and Culture Committee Grunde Almeland (Venstre – Norwegian Political Party) talked about how politics can recognize and lift eSports in Norway. We got the opportunity to talk with Grunde after the lecture

Grunde Almeland Venstre - Tema Kveld Drammen
Grunde Almeland (Venstre) – Photo: Kim Hansen, Ulvespill

You are asking a lot of the big questions regarding the issues we have in Norway regarding eSport. Especially with the “old man thinking”, how can the politicians change this point of view?

“Firstly, we must talk about it. I was born at the right time, grew up with the data culture. It gives me more knowledge about this and makes it easier to talk about it. Because one step to accept this is to know it. I who have a platform as a parliamentary politician can talk openly about eSport and kill some myths about what eSport is and what computer games in general on Norwegian data culture. Now we also have a culture minister who is very positive to eSport “

Several people say that we need to get more clubs to support eSport as DBK has done. What do you think about this?

“This goes the right way in my opinion to start of eSport in Norway. A federation will not be built by one person, so if more clubs start up their own local eSport team then this will build itself up with the help of funds from us.”

What kind of funds do you think about then?

“One must, among other things, ensure that the local teams have a place to be. Same as here with DBK, a house to be in with equipment that they can use, that’s basically the basis for doing this. And it needs money at a local level, for a national plan, we also support through the sports federation, but then we must be associated. “

There is a lot of focus on sexualization and violence in games, especially in eSport. For my part, this is a trifle, but how can we get the focus away from this?

“Yes, that’s a trifle, but we’ll always take things seriously. Especially when it comes to accusations, we’ll take things seriously. To just tell parents that this is just nonsense does not exactly kill the concerns of the parents. But explaining what this is about, I think is important. Okay say this, a person who plays CS GO does not play because he thinks that getting a headshot is incredibly fun, maybe, but not because it’s fun to see the head being shot. They do it because it’s fun to set up strategies, how to attack different paths, which strategies work best, etc.”

The challenge will then be how we can make people focus on that bit.

“Yes, there are no simple answers, but one of the answers is to talk about this. And when you see that local clubs start to get, for example, Overwatch teams, it creates an understanding for the parents. Because I understand parents who have never driven computer games before, okay so my kid is sitting 18-21 every Monday why does he do that? Oh yes, that’s because he’s training with his team as they’ve planned. But if they have a place to go to as a club, maybe it’s a bridge with it’s old understanding that they have to be one place and with the new understanding that it’s good enough to be on Discord “

What is the plan ahead now to emphasize this?

“I will show this at the next national meeting, where we will discuss eSport as sports”

There is a lot of questions that needs answers, but one thing is for sure. That DBK is partnering up with Air eSports and a focus on this subject is one step in the right direction. Hopefully more clubs joins this trend so that eSport can grow in this country.

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You can read part one of this story right here. 

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