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A passion for playing in the Kanaliiga e-sports league led to a job in the wellbeing services counties

 A man with a beanie sitting by two screens with his back to the camera.

Samuel Rahikainen, a project manager in Pinja’s Business Intelligence team, was allured to Pinja by the broad career paths and the opportunity to participate in Kanaliiga, the inter-company league of electronic sports. Soon after starting work, he had assembled a team consisting of his new colleagues to compete in Counter Strike 2 tournaments as Pinja’s team. Playing together has strengthened teamwork in daily life and created new friendships outside of work hours.

Teammates from the IT sector

Samuel Rahikainen, who majored in computer science at university, stayed on to work at the university after his studies. However, a friend who works at Pinja suggested a couple of times that he should join the company. He was interested in the IT sector and attracted by Pinja’s career prospects. Samuel was also willing to join Kanaliiga and it would be easier to find teammates among people working in the IT sector to participate in the corporate league of video gaming. 

Yes, it has improved teamwork in the workplace. Working together becomes smoother when you know your colleague even in your free time. It’s really rewarding to have fun with the same people even after a day at work.

Samuel started at Pinja in the health and well-being technology Business Intelligence team, where he still works as a project manager about two years later. With his core team of over ten people, he develops reporting solutions for well-being services counties. He cites a project for the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa as one of his favorite projects, where he was free to express himself, while working on a subject that is important to him personally. 

- We do things that are really important. Our reporting solutions make daily life easier for healthcare workers.

Cooperation in Kanaliiga strengthens working together

Pinja had one team in Kanaliiga competing in Samuel’s favorite game series Counter Strike, but the team disbanded when he joined the company. He started looking for willing players on the communication platform used by Pinja, and found his current teammates. One player was found from his team, the others from all over Pinja, from different cities. In spring 2022, a team was assembled, and they started their first season in August the same year.

- When we played our first games, there was an announcer on the stream who was surprised by the lack of team play. It shows how much we’ve developed after a couple of years of playing together. Today, our discussions are much more relaxed and filled with humor.

The team consists of people working in different roles – a service specialist, a senior system architect, a data warehouse specialist, and a project manager –, and the team spirit was built up gradually as the team members got to know each other after the initial roughness. There was some initial variation in the composition of the team, but as the players settled, it became easier to work together. Samuel has found that, in addition to getting to play games, the collaboration has also helped him work together with his Business Intelligence team.


- Yes, it has improved teamwork in the workplace. Working together becomes smoother when you know your colleague even in your free time. It’s really rewarding to have fun with the same people even after a day at work. The team is an important part of everyday life for every team member. Instead of being just colleagues, many of us are friends.

In his role as captain, Samuel takes care of the practical side of the team, such as registering for tournaments and arranging a time with the opponent for the next match. At the level of the league series, Pinja’s team has climbed from sixth to third, and Samuel has strong confidence in his team. In addition to the Counter Strike 2 team, Pinja has a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds team in Kanaliiga, but Samuel thinks that even more teams could be assembled from Pinjans.      

- There would certainly be people for more games and more teams for Counter Strike 2. There are many options for games in Kanaliiga. Feel free to join in!


  • An electronic sports league where teams from different companies compete against each other.
  • There are several different games in the league where you can compete.
  • There are two tournament seasons a year, spring and fall.

Counter Strike 2 tournaments in Kanaliiga

  • In the first stage, the captain announces the team to compete, and the players’ skill levels are entered into Kanaliiga’s registration page.
  • Based on skill levels, teams are divided into different divisions, or tiers, which vary in number depending on the season. In some seasons, there have been as many as 10 divisions.
  • Weekly games start with the regular season, where all teams in the league play against each other.
  • A team that does well in the regular season qualifies for the playoffs. 
  • Teams with enough wins in the playoffs compete in the finals.

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