eSports is flourishing in Finland
eSports player Artturi is a postgraduate student studying the bachelor of science at a local University in the region of Uusimaa, Finland. He works part time but not in tech company or such but instead, he is paid to play the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends professionally.Finnish market for eSports is lucrative and is worth $100 million in the country according to latest Research and though relatively nascent in other parts of the world, Finland is on an eSports revolution.”It pays reasonably well. It’d be a part time job but you work your own hours,” Artturi told your blogger adding that the pay is comfortably supporting him through university.”The better you get the more exposure you get and how much money you get from that exposure.”The growing eSports circuit in Finland is opening opportunities for many players around the country.They go to school, they go to uni come back and play a game all through the night.Last month, Artturi was flown outside the country to compete in the World Championships in after placing second in the European round. Artturi said the video gaming which is a reference for eSports has allowed players of any age to play at a high level. “The game is growing in Europe and the events don’t just attract the hardcore players, it also attracts people who just enjoy playing it,” Artturi said. Players can have lucrative careers. In Finland, winning a tournament can net teams millions of dollars and players are often offered salaries through clubs and sponsorship.They earn money through various streams of revenue including match fees, sponsorship deals, coaching and streaming sessions. “From my experience it is very prevalent that the more individual practice you do, the better you’ll get and the better you’ll perform on the day so it is very similar to an athlete,” Artturi said. Artturi undergoes a rigorous practice schedule for his sport both individually and with the team. It includes team practice about seven times a week with each session ranging between six or seven hours, as well as separate individual practice and gym sessions four times a week.
“Finland eSports players put in a lot of time and it’s very physical as well,” Jari, player coordinator at an eSports company told your blogger.”They go to school, they go to university come back and play a game all through the night. “But it’s not just about playing the game, it’s about focus. You have to concentrate a lot, you have to be physical about it as well, so you need to have the stamina.” In Finland, eSports career path is bankable than any other country in the world outside of South Korea and United States. Streaming allows eSports athletes to build a fan base and grow their viewership, allowing them to form partnerships with streaming websites.TV where sponsors can advertise and raise revenue as well with state broadcaster YLE being one of them. One of the advantage Finland players have is that the country’s internet infrastructure is superb for gaming. Finnish players make a bulk of their money streaming online and a high upload speed means this source of revenue is magnified. “It kind of puts us at an advantage with the rest of the market because why would people not watch a high quality stream from Finland same as they can watch a high quality stream from South Korea and the United States or from somewhere else in the world,” said Artturi. Earlier this year, a study ranked Finland 4th for average connection speed while South Korea topped the list. “So if you’re looking at somewhere like Finland or South Korea good bandwidth connections meant that high performance gaming, playing big games at very competitive level, is a possibility not only in the home but also in net cafes, which is a big thing,” Jari, said. One issue facing Finland market is the low numbers of viewership due to Finland’s low population.”There are a lot of people overseas in the big countries, in the big economic regions, so South Korea, China, Korea, North America and such countries with a lot of viewership, a lot of numbers, a lot of potential for marketing, those are the countries that would be a lot easier and provide a lot more opportunities for people to really flourish with -sports careers,” Jari noted. Many eSports teams in Finland also have big-time sponsors, another aspect that bolsters careers.