TEAM POKERSTARS PRO BERTRAND “ELKY” GROSPELLIER BECOMES FIRST JOINT SPONSORED POKER AND ONLINE GAMING PRO
Team PokerStars Pro joins Team Liquid as professional Hearthstone player
ONCHAN, Isle of Man – November 13, 2015 – Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier has become the latest member of ‘Team Liquid’ – a Netherlands-based eSports organisation that sponsors professional gamers, PokerStars, an Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA) brand announced today. By joining Team Liquid, ElkY, has become the first joint sponsored poker and online gaming pro. He joins Team Liquid to play Hearthstone, Blizzard Entertainment’s popular online collectible card game, while continuing to represent PokerStars as a member of the brand’s elite group of professional poker players.
This new appointment marks a return to his competitive gaming roots for the Frenchman, who is one of the most successful StarCraft players ever. His gaming accomplishments include second-place finishes in the World Cyber Games in 2001 for StarCraft, and in the Ongamenet WarCraft Retail League in 2002, plus a first-place finish in the Euro Cyber Games in 2003, among other achievements. His appetite for skill and strategy games soon led him to poker, where he has concentrated his talents for the last decade, winning over $10 million, a coveted Triple Crown (EPT, WPT, WSOP titles), and picking up a Guinness World Record for the most Single Table Sit & Go’s played online in one hour.
Of 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. When I discovered poker, I had to make the difficult choice to leave the competitive gaming world to focus my energy fully on poker. 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.”
Lee Jones, Director of Poker Communications at PokerStars, said: “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. As the boundary between poker players and strategy gamers continues to blur, it is trailblazers such as ElkY who are narrowing the gap between people who consider themselves gamers, and those who consider themselves poker players. We look forward to the new era of strategy gaming that ElkY’s appointment represents.”
His first official tournament with Team Liquid will be today in the SeatStory Cup IV Hearthstone tournament. The four-day tournament, which began yesterday and concludes on Sunday, November 15, will see 32 of the world’s best Hearthstone players battle it out for a total prize pool of $20,000. The tournament will be broadcast live on Twitch: twitch.tv/taketv_hs.
PokerStars operates the world’s most popular online poker sites, serving the global poker community. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of players all over the world, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best online security. More than 140 billion hands have been dealt on PokerStars, which is more than any other site.
PokerStars.com and PokerStars.eu operate globally under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively. PokerStars also holds local licenses in many jurisdictions, including Italy, France, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, United Kingdom, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, Ireland, Romania and New Jersey in the United States of America.
PokerStars is the flagship brand of Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, Full Tilt and the European Poker Tour. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Rational Group companies in the UK and Isle of Man was recognised as one of the top 25 best places to work by the Great Place to Work Institute’s Best Workplaces – Large category ranking. Rational Group entities in Costa Rica and Dublin also achieved the same accolade in their respective local rankings in 2014. PokerStars is owned by Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA).
About Team Liquid
Team Liquid was founded in 2001 as a clan on Battle.net, but has now evolved into one of the leading names in eSports. The Liquid brand is synonymous with high quality video and written content, and its news coverage and editorials have been praised as some of the best in the industry. As one of the most influential teams in eSports, Team Liquid is considered both an innovator and standard bearer. That success extends to its players and teams, who count among them champions and record-breakers: Yun "TaeJa" Young Seo, the winningest player in StarCraft 2 (SC2) history; Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin, a world champion and one of the Best AD Carries in League of Legends; Dario "TLO" Wünsch, 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; and Ken "Ken" Hoang, a Smash legend and former Survivor contestant. Team Liquid’s goal is to continue providing its teams and players with the platform for winning titles, producing content that highlights the best of our growing industry, and shaping the games that we love to play.