Esports Around The World: Finland

13 February 2024


Esports Around The World is a series of profiles outlining the esports ecosystem in various countries globally. The series ties into ESI’s international esports business events, which take place around the world.

Esports Around The World Finland graphic
The Esports Around The World series profiles major & minor esports nations across the globe.
ESI London 2024


Finland, a Northern European country with a population of 5.5m, has a long esports tradition dating back to the early days of FPS esports. However, Finland has a notably smaller scene than Sweden or its other Northern European neighbours.

Finland has a particular esports focus on the FPS genre. Despite its smaller market size, some notable professional players have come from Finland, including Counter-Strike’s Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli and current NaVi player Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen. Finnish ex-CS player Elias ‘Jamppi’ Olkkonen also now plays for Team Liquid in VALORANT, while Juhani ‘Kantoraketti’ Toivonen is a notable R6 Siege player. Meanwhile, Finnish StarCraft player Joona ‘Serral’ Sotala won IEM Katowice 2024 in February, and the country is also home to a handful of high-profile Dota players.

Finland is also home to some prominent game developers, including Clash of Clans and Clash Royale developer Supercell. Critical Ops developer Critical Force is also based in Finland, alongside other non-esports studios like Angry Birds developer Rovio Entertainment. Finland’s video game industry turnover was €3.2bn in 2021 and ranks among the top five games industries in Europe, according to Finland Toolbox.

One of the most notable names from Finland is esports organisation ENCE, a household name in FPS esports. Helsinki-based ENCE, which competes at a high level in Counter-Strike as well as in NHL esports, is one of few esports organisations that claim to be financially profitable.

Few major, S-tier events have been held in the country, but there are local and grassroots esports options available. These include the Elisa Masters series (sponsored by Finnish telecoms company Elisa), the Finnish Esports League and more. Assembly, a BYOC esports event, has been running in the capital Helsinki since 2006.

In 2020, Swedish multinational telecommunications company Telia bought the Finnish media rights to the ESL Pro League to broadcast the league on TV. Moreover, UNEVN, a Finnish startup that makes portable esports setups, won ESI’s The Clutch pitch investment competition in 2023.

Finland divider graphic

Government recognition

In December 2016, Finland’s official Olympic committee voted to recognise the Finnish Esports Federation (SEUL) as an Associate Member. Furthermore, in 2017, Finnish tax authorities chose to classify Finnish professional esports players as athletes for tax purposes.

Additionally, the country’s government is proactive in promoting its domestic video game industry and provides incentives to help developers based in the country. Finish government-owned Business Finland offers grants to game developers to fund innovation and new projects.

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Notable Tournaments & Leagues

While few major international esports events have taken place in Finland compared to many of its European neighbours, Finland has domestic and regional league options.

Arctic Invitational 2019Finnish Esports League
Assembly BYOCPSL Elisa Esports PUBG Autumn Showdown
Clash of Clans World Championship 2022Red Bull Flick Helsinki Invitational 2021
Elisa MastersTelia Esports Series Finland
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Notable esports organisations

Note that this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an org is not notable.

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National Association(s) / Federation(s)

Note that inclusion in this list does not suggest any acknowledgment from ESI of its authority, works, or official capacity.

Finnish Esports Federation (SEUL)
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Education initiatives

The Kajaani University of Applied Sciences offers Bachelor’s degrees in esports.

In 2017, the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences also set up a Finnish esports summer school in collaboration with Vuokatti Ruka Sports Academy, which included lectures, workshops and coaching sessions on a full time basis in Kajaani for up to 100 students.

This is a preliminary country profile and will be augmented with additional information over time. If you have any suggestions or feedback for this profile, please get in touch at [email protected]. Article originally published: February 13th, 2024.

Jake Nordland
Jake has worked at Esports Insider as a journalist and editor since early 2021. Now ESI's Media Manager, he continues to act as lead editor of print magazine The Esports Journal, and contributes his words to the website from time to time.