POKERSTARS ANNOUNCES TEAM LIQUID SPONSORSHIP WITH PRO GAMERS SET TO STREAM POKER
eSports pros to stream poker on popular Twitch channels
ONCHAN, Isle of Man – May 18, 2016 – PokerStars, an Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA) brand, today announced a groundbreaking new sponsorship deal with Team Liquid, one of the most popular and successful professional eSports gaming organisations in the world.
The deal will see several Team Liquid pros introduce poker into their gaming repertoire, showcasing online poker to brand new audiences on their highly popular Twitch channels, demonstrating the similar skills, challenges and competitive elements that poker shares with eSports. Some members will also take part in PokerStars-sponsored events like the European Poker Tour in Barcelona later this year, test new online products such as the recently-launched Knockout Poker, and compete in some of PokerStars’ biggest online tournaments.
Three of the Team Liquid streamers initially involved will be Janne ‘Savjz’ Mikkonen from Finland, Jeffrey ‘Sjow’ Brusi from Sweden, and Dario ‘TLO’ Wünsch from Germany, who are world-renowned experts in Hearthstone and StarCraft. The players, some of whom have extensive poker experience, will play and stream some of the most exciting poker tournaments and game formats on PokerStars.
Team Liquid member ‘Sjow’, who won the Xfinity Hearthstone Invitational in 2015, said: “I’m happy to announce that I’ll be streaming poker under the PokerStars flag. I used to play a lot before I started my eSports career and it’s a very interesting and complex game. If you want to see an old poker player relearn the game, tune in to my stream.”
‘Savjz’, who has won multiple Hearthstone events, also has some background in poker: “I’m no stranger to the game. I used to play a lot in the past. PokerStars is the most respected and reliable company in that business, so I’m super excited to be sponsored by them.”
There is one poker novice among the crew, however, in the form of ‘TLO’, who recently made the Top 8 at DreamHack Leipzig. He said: “Poker and StarCraft have always been two scenes very close to each other. Both are games of incomplete information with incredibly high skill ceilings. I’m looking forward to trying myself out in poker and viewers will be able to see me learn the game as a total amateur on my Twitch channel.”
The Team Liquid pros will be joined on their streams at times by Team PokerStars Pros, including Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, who is also currently a professional Hearthstone player on Team Liquid, and formerly one of the world’s best StarCraft players; Team PokerStars Pro Online members Lex Veldhuis and Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew, who played StarCraft and Street Fighter games respectively at a competitive level before they became pro poker players; and the world’s biggest winning live tournament player Daniel Negreanu, who has more than $32 million in earnings. The Team Pros will be on hand to offer their expert strategic advice to the Team Liquid crew, and play games with the pro gaming community among other activities.
For Veldhuis, who has been a member of Team Liquid since 2004, this partnership will feel like a homecoming. He said: “When I became a professional poker player I never let go of my passion for gaming. I’m an avid eSports fan, participating in Team Liquid forums and following the StarCraft and Dota 2 scenes closely. The sponsorship deal is an awesome way to show online gamers how closely related poker is and how they can apply deep-level thinking and strategy to another hugely popular game.”
Links to the Twitch streams of ‘Savjz’, ‘Sjow’ and ‘TLO’ can be found below, with more members of Team Liquid expected to get involved over coming months.
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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 150 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 or approvals to offer services to players 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 ultimately owned by Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA).