Veikkausliiga, the top division of Finnish professional football, has launched official esports league eFutisliiga to complement the main competition.
The league is similar in nature to many esports versions of other football leagues seen around the world.
The league will be organised by Finnish esports tournament platform Telia Esports Series, which is owned and operated owned by Finnish telecommunications company Telia. It’s already majorly involved in League of Legends through an intensive partnership with DreamHack that covers Northern Europe.
Ville-Mikko Korkka, Commercial Development Director at Veikkausliiga, discussed the inception of the league in a release: “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.”
Teams from the Finnish league will field professional players to represent them on the virtual pitch, participating in weekly online matches that will be broadcast on MTV. The league is expected to start in autumn, but no dates or format have been confirmed at the time of writing.
Niklas Segercrantz, Commercial Manager of Esports at Telia Finland, also commented: “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.”
Esports Insider says: As sports begin to return to competition, many have been quick to abandon esports as a form of entertainment but the Veikkausliiga has opted to run an esports league to complement it. It’ll be interesting to see how much interest the new venture cultivates, that’s for sure.