The e-sports scene in Piteå is growing. Lundqvist Lightside is ranked as Sweden’s best League of Legends team. But now the e-sports director Jakob Eriksson, 24, also intends to take over Europe.
At the beginning of November, Lundqvist Lightside qualified for the Nordic second division.
– It feels absolutely wonderful. I had never imagined this a few years ago. Now we first want to stabilize this, then the goal is to become the best in northern Europe. I can picture that we will be there in about two years, says Jakob Eriksson.
In addition to getting even better, he dreams of being able to play for a living.
– Now that we play in division 2, it is not really possible to live on this, but I work extra as well. Playing is the most fun I know and it would be fantastic to advance to division 1 and be able to live only on playing.
The team members spend about 20 hours each week playing and maintaining the level they are at now. Jakob also works with the association, which takes time as well.
– My driving force comes from the fact that I want to win. I used to play football and I have always been competitive.
Jakob Eriksson has been playing computer games since he was three, but it was not until he was 13 that he tried e-sports and he quickly started competing. Four years ago, the association began to become increasingly serious.
The team has slowly built up and now consists of, in addition to Jakob Eriksson, another player from Piteå, two players from southern Sweden and a player from Germany. The team’s coach comes from the USA.
– Two of the players come from our academy team where they have developed enormously. In addition, other teams have quite frequently picked up players from our academy team, says Jakob Eriksson.
Board member: “On extreme progress”
For Jens Lundqvist, 34, the primary reason he joined the board of Lundqvist Lightside has never been to win or become the biggest. He joined as the main sponsor, via Lundqvist Trä, two years ago and has two main goals as a board member.
One is that e-sports is in an extreme growth progress, but there is still
– One is that e-sports is in an extreme growth progress, but there is still great development potential in the industry and that is something I am getting started on, Jens says and continues:
– The second part is ideological. There are a large number of young people who never join any traditional association where they get to learn about values. Many young people instead turn to the gaming industry and here there is no clear forum or rules for how to behave. If you are unlucky, you may follow and be inspired by the wrong profiles. I want to be there to fill that void.
Why did you choose to join the board of Lundqvist Lightside?
– Many of these associations are not very organized, but with Lundqvist Lightside it was the opposite. They were very organized and procured and the players worked in a way that makes them long-lasting. It inspired me to join the board. The association is still very young and we would need to get the municipality and the business community to notice us so that we can develop further.
From the construction industry
Jens Lundqvist started out in the construction industry, and is now a partner in Lundqvist Trävaru. The company was previously owned by his father, but in 2014 he took over together with Samuel Holmström.
Together, they decided to combine gaming technology with the construction industry, which proved to be a success. Lundqvist Trävaru wanted to make it easier for people to build. By using a 3D configurator, the customer can draw their own building.
– With inspiration from “The Sims”, we introduced gaming technology into the construction industry.
The company has been awarded many prizes for its pioneering thinking in the otherwise traditional industry, says Jens Lundqvist.
Jacob Gabrielsson, local project manager for Arctic Game in Piteå, is excited for the growth that the gaming industry has shown in the past few years in northern Sweden.
– We work primarily with supporting companies that produce games, but it feels incredibly exciting that the consumer part is also flourishing in northern Sweden. With all the large establishments and investments that take place, the creative and cultural industries, which include the gaming industry, have an incredibly important role to play for our region’s attractiveness. Northern Sweden will need to employ thousands of people in the coming years, where the culture, creativity and a sense of community will reflect on the decision of moving north, both for your own part but also for any family members.
Arctic Game creates opportunities
Northern Europe’s fastest growing gaming cluster, Arctic Game, is working to strengthen the gaming industry in northern Sweden. Umeå, Skellefteå, Piteå, Luleå and Boden are involved in the work and together they create meeting places, Game Jams, lectures, business development, collaborations between gaming companies and educations/students – all in order to create a stronger gaming industry together, with more companies, and giving more people an opportunity to become part of a growing gaming industry.