You are here
A New and Promising Opening in Field of eSports in Kainuu
Kajaani University of Applied Sciences and Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy are together building an eSports learning environment and training center to Kainuu. The Regional Council of Kainuu has granted ERDF funding for building the concrete learning environment to Snowpolis in Vuokatti, to be done during summer 2017. The North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment has granted ESF funding for the two-year development project launched in May 2017.
The goal is to create a flexible training path for eSports athletes and to train top eSports athletes in Kainuu. The center has potential to bring athletes, aiming for the top, to Kainuu from around the world.
The training path for e-athletes means that an e-athlete can get training in Kajaani and Vuokatti in the future just like a cross-country skier, for example, does today. The path may start already from the junior high school and continue all the way to university studies. In the Kainuu Brigade, the military service of e-athletes will be organized in the same, flexible way as for other conscripts that come from the Sports Academy.
According to Joonas Kapiainen, Chairman of the Finnish eSports Federation (SEUL), the learning environment of Kajaani and Vuokatti will be unique in the Nordic countries – such a centralised entity for training and development specifically in eSports can’t be found in any other Nordic country.
There is lots of experience regarding training athletes in the Kainuu region: Vuokatti-Ruka Sports Academy provides training in 13 sports at the moment. Also the Kainuu Brigade is kind of in the frontline of utilising games in military training, since they are bringing a virtual combat arena into use at the moment. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, for its part, is one of the pioneers of game industry in Finland and a popular place to study at.
The eSports learning environment and training center of Kajaani and Vuokatti will provide a framework not only for training, but also for testing and tournaments. In the summer of 2017, the first eSport Boot Camp and tournament (Nordic eSports Academy Bootcamp) will take place. Around 100 amateur athletes will attend the camp, which includes gaming, performance testing, physical and psychological training and familiarization with eSports business. For example, the test system will examine the physiological variables, such as eye movements and heart rate, relevant regarding gaming, to identify the athletes' strengths and problematic areas. Based on the results of the research, the characteristics of players are individually developed.
eSports, in other words competitive gaming either individually or in teams, is a rapidly growing international sport and also one of the fastest growing top-level sports in Finland. Globally, millions of euros are moving in the tournaments and the number of professionals is growing all the time. The world's top tournaments attract an audience of millions of people.