On January 26, 2021, Finnish CSGO prodigy Elias ‘Jamppi’ Olkkonen finally announced his rumored switch over to Riot Games’ Valorant after a short, turbulent career in Valve’s hit FPS title.
At just 19, Jamppi has had a career dissimilar to most of his peers. At the age of 14, Jamppi says he lent his CSGO account to a friend to play on, and received a VAC ban for cheats used on the account.
To this day, the ban stands, with Valve’s strict policies preventing him from playing in Valve-sponsored Majors, and an ongoing lawsuit between the two making matters even harder for the Finn.
Despite having a particularly promising future as a player, Jamppi never got to live out his expected career trajectory. Here’s how it all went wrong.
Finland’s CSGO prodigy
Coming up just playing with friends in Finland, Jamppi shifted his career plans away from the ice hockey rink and into the server.
Before he became the worldwide phenomenon he is recognized as now, Jamppi made an incredible mark on the Finnish scene.
Playing in a local LAN against the likes of HAVU’s Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen and Otto ‘ottoNd’ Sihvo, Jamppi fought through a broken wrist, cranked his sensitivity up and put on a stellar performance. It became immediately clear that if a broken wrist couldn’t stop him, not much could.
ENCE or bust
Jamppi joined ENCE in April 2020, offering him the opportunity despite ongoing troubles with his VAC ban. The team was made up entirely of players from his native Finland in Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli, Jere ’sergej’ Salo, Jani ’Aerial’ Jussila, Sami ‘xseveN’ Laasanen and Miikka “’suNny’ Kemppi.
For many, including perhaps himself, this was to be Jamppi’s big break… His chance to prove himself and hopefully, a time for Valve to reconsider their stance on his ban. Instead, Jamppi found himself left in the dark as to what his future holds — and he’s taken it upon himself to change that.
From CSGO to Valorant
Like many top pros in other esports, Valorant offered a new path to success for Jamppi. We’ve seen top Overwatch stars such as Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won make the switch, while fellow CS:GO pros like Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo and Matthew ‘Wardell’ Yu are considered among the game’s best.
Rumors had been circulating regarding Jamppi’s future, with talk of a Valorant switch on the cards, and that was made official on January 26. After dedicating his entire teenage life to making it in Counter-Strike, the Finnish prodigy will be aiming to make waves in Future Earth, swapping the AK for the Vandal.
The move is one that doesn’t really come as a shock, but could be a source of sorrow for the CS:GO scene, as it loses one of its most promising talents to a game frequently branded as the CS:GO killer.