TOWARDS THE STARS WITH DANISH ESPORTS
What used to be just one esports team has now become an industry, and with the stock exchange listing in December 2019, Astralis Group has really risen to the occasion. The promotion clarified the need for a stronger IT platform and the opportunity to scale a company which is located in Copenhagen but competing all over the world.
Competitive gaming has slowly but certainly risen from the underground where the cornerstone was set in various teenage rooms around the world. Other sports such as basketball and skateboard started as subcultures that suddenly got a mainstream breakthrough with help from commercial TV channels. For competitive gaming the Internet became the grand catalyst in acknowledging e-gaming as a sport.
The subculture that has united young people around the globe, has now become a professional sport, which has been commercialized with the digital globalization and now attracts millions of fans, large TV networks and significant sponsors.
With some esports events attracting twice as many viewers as the Super Bowl, esports is definitely here to stay. Gaming is not just done from the teenage room in the basement anymore. This is serious business combined with a strong passion for the most popular computer games in the world.
Astralis Group is one of the leading esports organizations. They currently run three teams under the Astralis Brand: Counter-Strike (CS:GO), League of Legends (LoL) and FIFA. The company is a highly professional engine to advance the brand and the teams, which clearly shows in the consistent results of the company.
Their popular CS:GO team Astralis has had their greatest success in the last three years and most Danes seem to have noticed that the guys on the Astralis team are doing extremely well. Still esports has developed tremendously, almost without anyone noticing.
In Astralis Group they are focused on the big computer games such as League of Legends and of course CS:GO. But no matter the game, the esports athletes are top professionals with dedicated coaches, dietitians, Physiotherapists, sports psychologists etc. Just like other professional athletes in sports.
The players at the Astralis team are all Danish and the team is among the 8 best teams worldwide. On the other teams the players have been handpicked from all over the world; Brazil, Israel, Norway, Germany and even Australia.
Even though the sport is still dominated by male players, gender and ethnicity has no relevance when putting together the perfect team of players. The only thing that matters is finding that one player that supplements the team with the right skills.
”In other sports they struggle to digitalize the sport. In competitive gaming everything is code, so we can basically get all the information we want out of the game and scout for exactly the skills that we need. Every player has their own specific role on the team, for example who is the first one to walk through the door and get shot”, says Jakob Lund, a good old gamer, who has revolutionized the whole Danish gaming business with his foundation of Astralis Group.
The insisting professionalism that marks Astralis Group and puts their teams in the absolute top of the league, has made a positive contribution to the company going public in December 2019. With the listing Astralis Group was now in a different league and there were areas of the company that were equally important to the gaming performances.
Because of the company’s digital foundation, the development has happened very quickly. In fact, 50% of the development has happened in just 5% of the time, and the underlying IT infrastructure has not kept track. This was an issue that Jakob Hansen addressed shortly after he joined as CFO of the company in November 2019.
”I soon identified that we needed to improve on the safety surrounding our IT infrastructure. There were simply too many insecure elements to our current solution. Our work wasn’t backed up, and it was necessary for our platform to be scalable and less vulnerable” says Jakob Hansen and continues: “The business is influenced by the fact that it is tech based and we have relied on common, online platforms. But when your company goes public and is highly exposed, you need to up your security and control your company in the way that would be expected when you go public – also when it comes to IT.”
In addition to handling confidential information responsibly, special adjustments have been made on the new system to address the use of Teams, Sharepoint and other programs, so documents can only be shared intentionally. And then there is that extra dimension to the solution that down time is not an option.
At the Copenhagen headquarter you will find an Internet connection, that will make any teenager jealous. More than 2 km of network cable has been installed to make sure every PC has its own unique port and maximum security.
Jakob Hansen’s choice of solution supplier was no coincidence. He has worked together with Danoffice IT to implement and service large IT platforms on former projects. So, it is a trust-based cooperation that ensures Astralis Group a streamlined and scalable IT solution, accommodating their need for hardware, software, operation and services. The network solution is constructed around the HPE Aruba products, which are those being used on several Danish hospitals.
“During corona it has been essential for us to quickly adjust and play tournaments from our offices in Copenhagen, to prevent the players from travelling. It has worked out very well because our platform is highly professional and prepared for the task”, Jakob Hansen explains. About the cooperation with Danoffice IT he adds:
”Our organization is still young and our 25 employees are occupied in communication, social media, legal matters and everything else related to an elite sports company. But we still don’t have an IT department, so we need full-service administration on our IT solution. Danoffice IT are in charge of operation, service and surveillance. With our current need this gives us great flexibility and quick expedition to have a large team of specialists ready to service us. Furthermore, Danoffice IT completed the full installation and implementation in just one month.”
Network for WLAN and LAN including firewalls:
Managed service operation of the entire installation incl. PC operations, licenses etc.
Backup, surveillance, operation and reporting hosted and managed by Danoffice IT’s datacenter.
Organizing and streamlining the purchase of hardware.
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