The Finnish ice hockey club IFK Helsinki has entered esports with a team announced in Overwatch.
The Helsinki REDS as they’ll be known consists of captain Roope ‘Ruape’ Kurkela, in addition to Eemeli ‘Woomera’ Ikonen, Miika ‘BBR’ Tekoniemi, Toni ‘Effix’ Hurme, Jani ‘Exceed’ Kosonen and Ville ‘prettyWise’ Mikkonen. The manager is Christer Kasurinen.
Kasurinen said of the launch: “Building the team with a relatively fast pace was a challenge, but with the lead of our team captain Roope Kurkela, we were able to obtain four of the core players relatively fast. We took our time with the last member and found our team’s youngest player Toni ‘Effix’ Hurme, who is certainly going to turn some heads in the coming months. The “Original Six” is everything we could expect from a top tier team and I am really looking forward to our cooperation for the upcoming future.”
Antti Järvinen, the CEO of Jimm’s, stated: “We are really excited that esports has been finally noticed by the older traditional sports clubs here in Finland, and it has been taken into account like any other team sport. Although the growing industry has been noticed around the world, Finns are still at the forefront of the competition.”
He continued: “We are really pleased of the fact that IFK Helsinki contacted Jimm’s when starting an esports organization. Here at Jimm’s it is of the utmost importance that Finnish teams have the needed requirements and gear to develop themselves to be the best in the world. This is why we are involved with several Finnish teams in the role of equipment supplier and sponsor. We expect the Helsinki REDS partnership to grant us visibility in the growing esports market and look forward to working with the team in our future events.”
Coupled with the announcement this weekend gone of The Overwatch League this is a big few days for the Blizzard title.
Esports Insider says: Fascinating to see a traditional sports club enter by way of Overwatch, and not FIFA or one of the more established big three esports. Great for the budding Overwatch scene, and promising for the Helsinki REDS too that two partners have already been acquired.