Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) and Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy (VRUA) together with the Finnish Association of Electronic Sports (SEUL) are building an international e-sports hub known as the eSports Centre, in Kainuu. Taking into account the special needs of esports, the aim of the project is to design and implement a new esports athlete's path alongside traditional sports offered at Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy. The e-athlete's path covers the academy’s operational planning from secondary, upper secondary school level through to tertiary education and military service.
The sports academy is looking forward to building an esports path and with this initiative it serves the whole of the Kainuu region.
-Esports is an increasingly popular phenomenon with a great future. There are parties and organisations in this area supporting esports, such as our people at the Sports Academy and KAMK games. It is natural to combine our resources, says Academy Director Janne Vuorinen.
-Setting up an athlete's e-sports path will also develop other sports academy activities benefitting all the parties in the venture.
-I believe that through our strengths in traditional sports, we will be able to offer new ideas to esports and vice versa. The goal is to promote and strengthen the role of esports in our academy and to get young people involved in it, Vuorinen adds.
The Finnish Association of Electronic Sports considers the project a wonderful opportunity for esports.
- Building an electronic athlete's path creates a solid foundation for the development of competitive gaming and increasingly professional sports activities. In addition, the project brings us closer to the development of traditional sporting activities, Joonas Kapiainen, Chairman of the SEUL association, delights. The project also opens up the opportunity to become a forerunner of competitive gaming internationally.
- As we create electronic sports academy operations in Finland, we are simultaneously making an esports coaching and training environment available to international parties, explains Kapiainen.
The Kainuu Brigade is also involved in the implementation of the project.
- The goal is to design and organise the e athlete’s military service with Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy in the same way as it is organised for other athletes from the academy who are doing their military service at Kainuu Brigade, Chief of Staff, Colonel Rainer Peltoniemi explains.
In addition to Sports Academy operations, the project will build an international eSports Camp concept for top athletes and teams. The first will take place this summer from 12.6.-6.7., in the form of an e-sports training camp held in Kajaani, followed by a three-day CSGO tournament at Break Sokos Hotel Vuokatti on 7-9.7.2017.
In the future, the concept will create e-athlete coaching and training camp activities. In addition to this, Vuokatti and Kajaani will develop athlete testing services. The test system examines physiological variables, such as eye movements and heart rate, which are essential to the players for playing e-sports in order to identify athletes' strengths and problems. The research results will be analysed and mapped to individually develop player features. Also, a learning environment for competitive gamers complete with facilities, equipment and software and meeting international standards, will be built in Vuokatti and Kajaani.
Electronic Sports (eSports) is a computer-based competitive and recreational sport. Esports has been becoming increasingly popular since the beginning of the 21st century and it is one of Finland's fastest-growing top sports, already being a natural part of many young people's everyday lives. The number of players is expected to grow rapidly to hundreds of millions around the world. Growth has been exceptionally rapid and it has not been possible to respond to training requirements in Finland. The widespread popularity of esports is apparent in that millions of viewers around the world follow esports tournaments.
VRUA (Sports Academy issues), Janne Vuorinen, Director janne.vuorinen(@)vrua.fi, 045 692 6075
Questions about the sport, Chairman of SEUL Joonas Kapiainen joonas.kapiainen(@)seul.fi, 045 6926075
Military service, Kainuu Brigade, Major Kari Saukkonen asevelvolliset.kaipr(@)mil.fi 0299 451160
Project Manager ESF Kati Haverinen kati.haverinen(@)kamk.fi 044 7157033
Project Manager ERDF Niklas Pehkonen niklas(@)nordic-esports.academy 044-0310944