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Terho: Finland could become a superpower in e-sports

Ministry of Education and Culture 4.6.2018 12.11 | Published in English on 8.6.2018 at 10.51
Press release
Terho: Finland could become a superpower in e-sports

According to Minister for Sport Sampo Terho, Finland should be developed into a leading country in e-sports. Minister Terho hosted a round table discussion on e-sports today, and he wishes that the discussion would not only contribute to the development of e-sports but also give e-sports more visibility.

"There is a real electronic sports boom going on at the moment," says Minister Terho. Internationally, e-sports are extremely popular alongside with the more traditional sports. E-sports are the third most popular sport in the United States, and studies show that even in Finland they rank second to ice hockey among young people aged 18–29.

Around 40 experts, coaches, players, tournament organisers and representatives of stakeholders convened for the round table discussion hosted by the Minister for Sport today. The discussion dealt mainly with the current situation and future of e-sports.

"A need to create more professional paths for players and to develop coaching were brought up in the round table discussion. In addition, we concluded that there is a need to provide players' parents with more information on the current situation of the e-sports scene and the opportunities that professional gaming can offer. Female participation in e-sports should also be promoted," says Minister Terho.

"Earlier, e-sports were considered a phenomenon of youth culture, which is why the Ministry has supported them from the appropriations allocated for youth work. However, the structures of e-sports are similar to the structures of traditional sports, even though the foundations are still under construction. Whether e-sports belong to the field of youth work or sports is still an open question being debated."

According to Sampo Terho, both e-sports and the entire gaming scene have become an established part of especially young people's free time.  "All around the world, electronic sports are made use of in education, business activities, study programmes and free time activities. We Finns have just recently realised the potential of e-sports and should seek to reinforce this development."

"An e-sports tournament was held in connection with the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. It is completely possible that e-sports could be a demonstration sport at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris," Terho says.
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Electronic sports are competitive sports that utilise information technology. E-sports games can be played by teams or individual players. The most popular e-sports games are entertainment games played on a computer or console, and they come in a variety of subcategories, i.e. genres. In competitive gaming, players play against each other and against a challenge created by the game in a competitive setting.

Inquiries: Toni Ahva, Special Adviser, tel. + 358 0295 330 340