Three Team Liquid-sponsored players will be venturing out on a mission aimed to introduce online poker to audiences on Twitch.
PokerStars, one of the world’s largest online poker websites, announced that it would be sponsoring Team Liquid, one of the world’s biggest eSports franchises. As part of the groundbreaking deal, Liquid will have some of its members introduce poker to their followers and viewers online.
Hearthstone players Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen and Jeffrey “Sjow” Brusi and StarCraft player Dario “TLO” Wunsch will be adding poker to their repertoires, and will stream the game on Twitch alongside their regular programs.
Savjz and Sjow will not just be playing poker online; they are expected to take part in a number of European Pro Tour (EPT) events held in Barcelona this year. Savjz would have the upper hand compared to his colleague in this case; he previously played poker at a high level before getting involved in eSports.
“We’re excited to partner up with PokerStars, and we are proud to be able to introduce this giant to the industry,” Liquid’s co-owner Steve Arhancet said.
“Our players will be streaming poker, playing tournaments, and we will come up with lots of other fun activities throughout the year,” he added. “There is tremendous overlap between the game of poker and esports, and many of our players have a background and history in both.”
There has always been a close link between poker and eSports; players such as Savjz and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier are known to dance around both disciplines, while other eSports stars were also known to take up poker after retirement.
To add more excitement into the mix, a Hearthstone versus poker crossover tournament had been announced recently, featuring stars from both games in a showdown next month.
Elky, a PokerStars player who had signed on with Team Liquid has won his first Hearthstone tournament back in March. Even before that, the Frenchman had already gathered $11 million in poker career winnings.
One of the more prominent links between eSports and poker had been the Global Poker League (GPL). The tournament features branded teams of poker players competing online and presented like an eSports tournament, and has been one of the most prominent initiatives in this vein so far.
The The GPL playoffs will take place at TwitchCon in September, with the finals at Wembley Arena in London in November.