How a VAC ban brought his career to an end.
Within a period of eight months, Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen went from playing with the best to switching titles for good. For years he was a talented AWPer and was mostly known for his 2020 season alongside ENCE. Not only were they the most popular team in Finland but they also gave Jamppi his competitive debut. During his journey to the top, Jamppi’s career was cut short due to a mysterious VAC ban.
The controversial topic roamed Twitter for months until ENCE decided to bench the young star until further notice. Because of this career-ending decision, Jamppi moved his FPS experience to the popular online shooter VALORANT, a game where Jamppi could get a fresh start and once again become one of the top players in the league.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN FOR JAMPPI
Jamppi started playing around 2017 alongside a handful of different teams in Europe. He spent roughly one year playing for pickup teams before finding his groove in competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). For nearly seven months, Jamppi competed with a group of amateurs under the name RehtiCS.
After switching to REHTI, Jamppi and his team spent their time in qualifiers and weekly events. They were hardly successful, but that didn’t stop some of them from getting signed a year later. Jamppi spent two months switching between two different teams before receiving the opportunity of a lifetime.
A Finnish team known as NYYRIKKI Esports sent Jamppi a two-week trial contract for their competitive season. At the time, NYYRIKKI Esports was on a six-month losing streak, and it was hurting the org. Signing Jamppi was supposed to be a lifeline for both the young pro and the entire crew at NYYRIKKI Esports.
They went on to completely dominate at King of Nordic Season 11 where they took home the first-place prize of six hundred dollars. Jamppi did extremely well in both sets and even top fragged in the finals. After noticing a solid performance from Jamppi, NYYRIKKI Esports went on to part ways with the rookie.
Following his questionable release from NYYRIKKI Esports, Jamppi received another chance to play in B-Tier events. Formerly known as SuperJymy, a team known as SJ Gaming gave Jamppi a two-year contract. All of that experience led to his signing with ENCE, but first Jamppi had to prove himself. In his first year of playing with SJ Gaming, Jamppi was able to secure sixteen grand in earnings.
Before that, it took him over a year to earn a single cent from grinding with independent orgs. In 2019, Jamppi passed another milestone by earning his first B-Tier championship title. He went on to win a total of six different events before moving his focus towards a bigger opportunity.
Before joining forces with ENCE, Jamppi won a bunch of tournaments and began making a name for himself. Some of his biggest achievements at the time included FES Season 7, LBET, eSM, and TES Season 1. What came next was a complete shock for Jamppi after dedicating his life to CS:GO.
A couple of months into 2020, Jamppi signed with his dream team ENCE. He had finally made his way to the top except one last obstacle was standing in his way. At the time, Valve had recently handed Jamppi a VAC ban due to a cheating program located on one of his old accounts. Jamppi was quick to dismiss the subject by telling the staff at Valve that he had sold his account to a friend years ago.
While the account was still linked to his address and name, Jamppi said he had zero access to the cheat codes. Everyone felt that Jamppi was telling the truth, which is why they pushed for justice. Jamppi even took the VAC ban to a small court, but it didn’t end in his favour. Instead, Jamppi was restricted from some of the biggest events in the world, which was definitely upsetting for him at the time.
A CAREER CHANGE
During this time, ENCE had just won the grand finals in their bracket at BLAST Premier Spring. It was Jamppi’s best placement yet, but his following results were lacklustre. Perhaps the VAC ban was on his mind, which led to a dip in his overall performance against Tier-1 players.
ENCE went on to compete in several different events with underwhelming placements. Because of his downfall, Jamppi was looking for redemption but not with CS:GO. Instead, he wanted an opportunity to reinvent himself as both a player and an esports icon. Once VALORANT was released, Jamppi sprung for the new and improved competitive experience.
The game was both refreshing and allowed Jamppi to grow within the world of esports. At this point in time, Jamppi has been grinding for a spot within a funded org alongside top tier players. Even though VALORANT isn’t the same as CS:GO, it still offers similar shooting mechanics which players like Jamppi can relate to.
Images via Liquipedia | SJ Gaming