The Finnish Central Tax Board considers esports competitors to be athletes. According to a decision freshly issued by the board: "A broad interpretation of sports, in addition to physical competition can also mean mental games of skill, where success is primarily based on something other than physical performance."
The subject of the rendered decision is a Finnish tax resident playing videogames for an American organization. In the contract between the player and the team, the player is committed to participate in tournaments, practice games, marketing events, interviews and photo shoots. The player is paid a monthly salary and various other bonuses, such as part of the tournament winnings.
The ruling is not merely symbolic either, as earnings officially deemed to be income from professional sports activities can bepartiallyinvested in a tax-sheltered investment fund meant to smooth out the transition as one's sports career starts winding down.