No, not a real one. I’m talking about the wonderful world where you join a modern DevOps consultancy and bond with your team through video games.
It’s a great way to integrate into a new organization and team. I will quickly summarize for you how it worked for me.
If you’re not from Finland, Kanaliiga is the official league where companies compete against each other in esports. Eficode is involved, and since I joined the company, I now personally compete in CS:GO and PUBG. But there are also tonnes of other games involved.
If you happen to speak Finnish, this is their website.
How it all started
I joined Eficode in April 2022. Already after my first week, in our monthly department meeting, I got to introduce myself to the team. “Do you play video games in your free time?”, they asked me (no surprises there).
When I told them that I do (no surprises there either), my new teammates immediately brought me up to speed on what Kanaliiga is and which games Eficode is competing in.
As I am writing this, Eficode has Kanaliiga teams for:
When the enrollment for CS:GO and PUBG opened up, I thought to myself that would be a fantastic opportunity for me to get to know my colleagues outside of work (all games are played outside of working hours). So I signed up for both those games immediately — for PUBG I enlisted as a backup player, and for CS:GO I wanted to be included on the main team roster.
As luck would have it, I got drafted into Eficode Zero, our 7th division CS:GO team.
From game nicknames to real people in the office
As I eventually played on both teams, I got to meet and spend time with a wide range of wonderful colleagues.
Before and during the seasons we played together for tens of hours together as a team, to fine-tune our tactics and get familiar with each others’ playing styles. This gave me a priceless opportunity to strike up casual conversations with my colleagues.
At first, they were just voices on the other end of a shiny box / computer screen. And of course, our nicknames in the game were different from the ones we use around the office, which in turn are often different from our real names. But after spending some time playing with my colleagues, I began to recognize their voices around the office and started to connect them with faces.
Going up and starting a conversation with the question: “Hey, I heard your voice, and it was familiar. Are you [insert nickname here] by any chance?” is a great icebreaker.
Are you a gamer? Maybe this is for you.
As the league season is nearing its end, I’m reflecting on how Kanaliiga has affected me and my growth in the company.
I definitely got to know my colleagues better and faster by participating in Kanaliiga. The time spent together outside of working hours has really added up. I certainly feel more like part of my working environment, and playing video games with my colleagues has opened the door for friendly banter far sooner than normal work would have.
So if you are into competitive gaming and have a chance, I highly recommend you and your colleagues check Kanaliiga out and gather a team!
And if you don’t live in Finland, and are not yet ready to move there (it’s very nice): maybe there is another suitable league for you out there.
Published: November 30, 2022