The eSports industry is growing at a rapid pace across the world and a number of professional poker players have shown a keen interest in games such as Hearthstone, League of Legends and Starcraft II. PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world has recognized the growth of the eSports industry by deciding to collaborate with one of the premier eSports franchises called Team Liquid.
PokerStars has announced that it be sponsoring Team Liquid and the partnership will also result in the promotion of eSports and poker as Team Liquid will send some of its top players to take part in PokerStars tournaments that will take place throughout this year including the European Poker Tour which takes place in Barcelona.
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There are a number of similarities between online poker and eSports games and the crossover is not very difficult as proven by retired eSports players who have now taken to playing poker. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier an ex Team Liquid player is one of those examples who has taken his experience from the eSports industry and used it to his advantage while playing poker. The opposition is also true as a number of former poker players have also transitioned to playing eSports.
Team Liquid’s Christian who goes by the name of ‘IWillDominate’ is one of these players. In a statement, Christian said “I’m very excited about the PokerStars sponsorship and having the opportunity to fly to new jersey and play on their site. Before I played league professionally, I would grind a mixture of live games and sit-n-go’s at PokerStars for hours a day. I’m hoping that after five years of playing next to no poker I can still perform profitably and give my fans a good show on stream.”
Team Liquid will also select a few of its players who will then introduce online poker to the rest of its team via the Twitch streaming platform. The collaboration between Team Liquid and PokerStars will also look to introduce a number of fun activities during this year that will help promote the interchange of knowledge between poker and eSports.
Daniel Negreanu a member of Team PokerStars and also one of the greatest poker players in the history of the game will also assist in this collaboration by appearing on Team Liquid live streams and sharing his knowledge and expertise on online poker.