Swiss Bank, Post Finance is set to offer five young gamers the chance to spend a year playing League of Legends like the pros as it launches the PostFinance Esports Experiment.
The five gamers will receive ‘professional guidance’ in the hit MOBA title League of Legends, the move will see PostFinance launch the experiment in an attempt to transform the bank into a ‘digital powerhouse and leading digital bank in Switzerland’.
The experiment will begin on January 1, 2019, PostFinance will fully finance their lives for the whole year, including a monthly salary of 2,500 (£1,918) francs each. The players will live in a gaming house which will be fully equipped with training rooms and coaches, along with advisors and other management roles. The goal for PostFinance is for the team to prove itself on the European stage and compete with Europe’s best team. The whole experiment will also be documented and will share the story of the player’s journey from amateurs to professionals.
Switzerland is not a country that springs to mind when you think esports, with League player Mahdi “Pride” Nasserzadeh being one of the most notable names in the scene. The nation has produced some top talent in traditional sports, including Tennis superstar Roger Federer and notable footballers Granit Xhaka and new Liverpool signing Xherdan Shaqiri.
As noted by Manuel Oberholzer, co-owner of MYI Entertainment on Twitter, this is a big deal for Swiss gamers as the cost of living and required wage is so high in the country that most esports careers are nearly impossible to make viable on a semi-pro level, with little-guaranteed income through prize money and semi-pro salaries. Not only does this mean Switzerland has few pro players, it also gives aspiring pros a lack of role-models to look up to in the scene.
Esports Insider says: This is a great story, a major national company looking to grow a rapidly growing eco-system to local residents while also expanding the companies digital footprint. Switzerland might not be on the same level as Sweden or Denmark for producing esports talent, moves like this will go a long way to helping.