Finnish football embraces esports with eFutisliiga launch

Credit: Juha Tamminen/AFLO/PA Images

In a bid to boost fan engagement and develop its own esports division the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s first division, has launched the eFutisliiga a new FIFA league which will run alongside its main competitions.

The competition will be very similar to the other ‘e-leagues’ which have come into prominence in the last two years, most notably the launch of the ePremier League and eLa Liga. Veikkausliiga sides will field professional esport players to represent them on the virtual pitch through weekly online matches, with the competition expected to commence at the start of autumn.

Ville-Mikko Korkka, Commercial Development Director at Veikkausliiga, stated: “What we learned during the pandemic is that not even established sport leagues like us can take their future for granted and there is always room to grow and innovate. For long we have followed the development of esports around the world as bystanders but not anymore. We could not be more excited about claiming this new territory.”

The new esports competition will be organised by Finnish esports tournament platform Telia Esports Series, which is owned by telecommunications company Telia. The esports tournament organisers are most notably involved in the League of Legends scene due to its partnership with DreamHack and its Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC) ecosystem.

Niklas Segercrantz, Commercial Manager of Esports at Telia Finland, added: “This spring truly made the whole world see the potential that lies in esports. We are proud to announce the upcoming collaboration that is first of its kind in the Nordics. eFutisliiga is the perfect example of how traditional sports can go hand in hand with esports. We hope that with our example we can encourage other main leagues to join forces with esports.”

Insider Insight: Veikkausliiga launch of the eFutisliiga will unboutbably drive a new audience to the Finish footballing landscape as by using esports it can drive a whole new demographic into football. The news also solidifies how footballing competitions see esports as a smart business opportunity for the development of the ecosystem, whether that be for commercial agains are simpilay for a boost in fan engagement.

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