Telia and Finnish Veikkausliiga partner to launch esports league
Telia, the Swedish telecoms firm, has teamed up with the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s top-tier soccer league, to launch an esports competition.
The two parties will launch the eVeikkausliiga this autumn with MTV3, the Telia-owned commercial and pay-television broadcaster in Finland, to provide weekly coverage.
The league will be organised by the telecoms firm’s esports tournament platform Telia Esports Series.
Teams from the Finnish league will have professional players representing them on virtually in weekly matches.
Playstation, the video game console maker owned by Japanese electronics giant Sony, will serve as the presenting sponsor of the eVeikkausliiga.
Niklas Segercrantz, commercial manager of Esports at Telia Finland, described the collaboration as a “first of its kind in the Nordics.”
The new competition strengthens Telia’s presence in the esports industry, notably partnering with DreamHack, the esports promoter owned by Sweden’s Modern Times Group, and video game developer Riot Games in April to launch a League of Legends in Northern Europe.
The Northern League of Legends Championship is supported by Telia Esports Series, which is expanding from Finland into fellow Nordic countries Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and features coverage of national leagues.
In March, Telia also acquired broadcast rights in Finland to the ESL Pro Tour.
Segercrantz, said: “This spring truly made the whole world see the potential that lies in esports.. 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.”
Ville-Mikko Korkka, commercial development director at Veikkausliiga, added: “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.”
The Veikkausliiga joins several leagues across Europe in launching a virtual competition including England’s ePremier league, Spain’s eLaliga and Germany’s eBundesliga.
Telia gained control of MTV3 following the completion of its acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting in December, which also included TV4 Group, the Swedish commercial broadcaster, plus its pay-TV operation C More.
Image credit: Veikkausliiga