Telecoms operator Telia has furthered its presence in esports by joining forces with the Veikkausliiga to launch a new league for the top division of Finnish club football.
The eFutisliiga will launch in the autumn, with Telia-owned MTV3, the commercial and pay-television broadcaster, to provide weekly broadcasts. The new league will operate under the Telia Esports Series banner, with each of the Veikkausliiga’s 12 member clubs to be represented by one e-athlete.
The main sponsor of the eFutisliiga will be PlayStation.
MTV3 already holds broadcast rights to the Uefa Champions League and Europa League (and recently secured the rights for the 2021-24 cycle), along with LaLiga.
In April, esports organisation DreamHack, video game developer Riot Games and Telia teamed up to launch a Northern European arm of the League of Legends Championship.
DreamHack and Riot Games entered an agreement to launch the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC), a new Northern European league in Riot Games’ LoL title, which will be run by DreamHack.
The NLC will be supported by a new competitive ecosystem in Telia Esports Series, which is expanding from Finland to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, featuring national leagues and the DreamHack-operated UKLC in the UK and Ireland.
In March, Telia also acquired rights in Finland from DreamHack and ESL to the ESL Pro Tour.
Niklas Segercrantz, a member of Telia Finland’s esports team, said: “This spring has revealed the hidden potential of esports for the whole world and the eFutisliiga, which starts in the autumn, is a perfect example of how traditional sports and esports can go hand in hand.
“We hope that with our example we can also encourage other main (sports) leagues to join forces with esports.”