Finland’s esports federation has come to a deal with the Finnish defence forces that will see professional esports players counted as athletes.
This is a big deal because in Finland, home to many of the world’s best CS:GO players, a stint in the military between the ages of 18-19 is mandatory, for a minimum of six months. This was a death knell for many promising young esports players, as this limited practice to weekends, providing you weren’t required to be out doing… military stuff.
This doesn’t mean every Finnish teenager will now breeze through military service by declaring themselves a fledgling esports pro, with the Finnish esports federation working with the military to decide who is to be accepted as an esports athlete to the service.
This is big news for players like Jere ‘Sergej’ Salo, a 15 year old who is already winning tournaments in the Nordic region and making waves with team Havu Gaming. If he continues to improve, he’ll probably be eligible to serve in athletic service, meaning he can continue with his career.
This also opens up other opportunities for the future. Could this lead to a military CS:GO team? We’ll have to see how great
This Finnish article, translated to English, has the details. https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/finnish_military_grants_athlete_status_to_e-sports_conscripts/9870250