The Next Big Thing in Cards and ESports?

4 years ago
Poker mega-site Full Tilt signs Hearthstone team
31 Dec

Full Tilt have taken on sponsorship of the G2 Esports' Hearthstone team, in a move which brings the worlds of poker and e-gaming ever closer.

Bertrand ‘ElKy’ Grospelier recently signed up as a sponsored pro for the Netherlands-based e-sports Team Liquid, and played a Hearthstone showmatch live on Twitch at the 2015 BlizzCon against another poker/gaming fan, Daniel Negreanu.

Full Tilt also successfully negotiated the Steam Greenlight process, giving it access to 125million+ gaming fans on the world’s most popular platform, and this latest sponsorship takes things a step further.

"Gaming and poker have a long intertwined history,” said G2 Esports’ founder and CEO, Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez Santiago, “with successful gamers effectively transferring skills such as mental strength, determination, concentration and endurance for long hours of play to the game of poker. Partnering up with an innovative site like Full Tilt was a natural step.”

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play strategy-based card game similar to Magic:The Gathering and is a staple of e-gaming fans world-wide. According to VentureBeat, Hearthstone claims more than 40 million players, with earnings of $20 million a month. In 2015, professional players earned over $2 million in prize money on the game.

Speaking of the sponsorship deal, Mark Ody, marketing director at Full Tilt, said: "Esports players love the thrill of competition, the battle of wits, and facing off against a tough opponent as they move into the unknown. That's why we think that they'll love learning more about poker, which is one of the modern world's finest games, because it is a great mix of turn-based strategy and role-playing games."

G2's Hearthstone group is called Team Nihilum, and includes players such as Adrian ‘Lifecoach’ Koy. In a recent interview he explained how he made the foundation of his wealth with poker, and then used it to invest in the real estate market.

According to reddit poster ruesicky1909 who translated the interview from German, He bought "old" houses, let them getting renovated, and sold them with profit. Now he owns a company in London and offers "life-coaching". He lives in Austria for several reasons (taxes are one of them).”

The team also features Lothar, Rdu, and Thijs according to VentureBeat.

G2’s Santiagio said: “We are confident that the sponsorship will help introduce Full Tilt to our fans in a complementary way, giving the site and the game of poker in general, greater exposure in the esports world."

Another recent and extremely interesting poker and gaming crossover appeared on PokerTube earlier this month, featuring the KickStarter campaign for Lord of Poker.

The game is a fantasy role-playing game with poker as the central theme; players have to win at the poker table and can use magic spells and secret bonuses to help them through the card-playing match-ups.

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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