Esports pros in the Finnish military are going to start getting the same privileges that traditional sports athletes do, the Finnish Esports Federation announced today.
In Finland, males are required to enter the military service for roughly six months or a year before they’re 30 years old, according to Finnish news site Yle.
Top-level athletes are given special privileges, including extra time off and unique training. Those same privileges are going to be given to esports athletes now, too, with the help of the Finnish Esports Federation.
Reddit user Ulmali, who lives in Finland, explained that many Finnish men complete their mandatory service when they are 18 or 19 years old, which can get in the way of esports ambitions in the same way that it would with traditional sports.
Most esports players who reach top-level pro status do so when they’re around that age, and stopping for even six months can severely impact aspiring Finnish players. Just like traditional sports athletes, esports athletes need to keep practicing and competing year-round or else they’ll fall behind their peers and lose out on big opportunities.
Athletes in the Finnish military attend a specific sports school, Yle reported, which allows people to continue training for their respective sport and gives people extra time off for practicing and competing.
In order to determine who is deserving of this special status in esports, the Finnish military is relying on the Finnish Esports Federation for help.
The alternative — skipping military service in Finland — isn’t really an option unless you’re willing to spend over six months in jail.