“ElkY” Grospelier Lands Online Gaming Sponsorship5 years ago
French poker pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospelier yesterday became the first sponsored poker pro to also land a sponsorship deal in the online gaming world, as the Team PokerStars pro joined Team Liquid as a professional Hearthstone player.
The hugely successful poker player, who has amassed over $10million in tournament earnings in the poker world, will return to his gaming roots to play Blizzard Entertainment’s popular online collectible card game Hearthstone for the Netherlands-based eSports organisation.
Speaking on his new appointment, ‘ElkY’ said:
As it was a dream come true for me to join PokerStars Team Pro, today another of my dreams becomes reality as I become a Team Liquid player. Hearthstone is one of the first games that shares the same skills as poker, and I am very excited for what the future holds in my multi-gaming career.”
The popular French poker pro was one of the leading StarCraft players at the turn of the millenium, coming 2nd in the World Cyber Games in 2001 and winning the StarCraft event at the Euro Cyber Games in 2003.
Making the switch to poker, though highly profitable, was not an easy choice for Grospelier:
When I discovered poker, I had to make the difficult choice to leave the competitive gaming world to focus my energy fully on poker.”
PokerStars Director of Communications Lee Jones commented on the announcement, stating:
There are many similarities between poker and gaming, and ElkY’s unrivalled success in both fields is a testament to his unwavering thirst for skill and strategy games. We look forward to the new era of strategy gaming that ElkY’s appointment represents.”
Grospelier will continue to represent PokerStars as one of their elite professionals, having previously won the ‘Triple Crown’ (taking down WSOP, EPT and WPT titles) in a highly-successful career, which includes holding the Guinness World Record for most Sit’n’Go’s played in 1 hour.
Team Liquid was formed in 2001 and began life as a ‘clan’ on the battle.net platform, and is now considered to be one of the leading eSports teams in the world, with huge names in gaming in its ranks.
According to the Amaya announcement of Grospelier’s new appointment, fellow Team Liquid player Yun "TaeJa" Young Seo, is the ‘winningest’ player in StarCraft 2 (SC2) history; Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin, is a world champion and one of the Best AD Carries in League of Legends; Dario "TLO" Wünsch is one of the most popular SC2 players and one of its earliest innovators; Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen, the Hearthstone champion of SeatStory Cup II and OGN Invitational 2014 while Ken "Ken" Hoang is a Smash legend and former Survivor contestant.
The Frenchman, who is also sponsored by HUD developers Jivaro, will kick off his Team Liquid professional gaming sponsorship deal this weekend in the SeatStory Cup IV Hearthstone tournament.
The four-day tournament, finishes tomorrow - Sunday November 15, and features 32 of the world’s best Hearthstone players fighting it for a total prize fund of $20,000. A live Twitch broadcast of the event can be found here: Twitch.tv/taketv_hs.
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