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Poker Pro Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier Joins Leading eSports Organization

French Tournament Poker Star Signed By Team Liquid

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Poker pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier has become the latest member of “Team Liquid,” a Netherlands-based eSports organization that sponsors professional gamers.

According to PokerStars, the online gambling site that also sponsors the Frenchman, by joining Team Liquid he becomes the first joint sponsored poker and online gaming pro.

Grospellier joins Team Liquid to play Hearthstone, Blizzard Entertainment’s popular online collectible card game that has an estimated 40 million registered players.

Grospellier is one of the most successful tournament players of all-time, winning European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker titles. Before poker Grospellier made a name for himself in StarCraft. He has second-place finishes in the World Cyber Games in 2001 for StarCraft and in the Ongamenet WarCraft Retail League in 2002. He also has a first-place finish in the Euro Cyber Games in 2003. Below is a video of him playing a match in 2002.

“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," Grospellier said in a statement last week. "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.”

There has already been crossover between daily fantasy sports and poker, so it wasn’t surprising when the leading DFS sites began showing a strong interest in gambling on eSports. Yahoo!, FanDuel and DraftKings have all made plays into the fledgling eSports industry. According to FanDuel, eSports was a $612 million market last year and 13 percent of all live stream viewers are watching eSports. Poker has also become a popular game to watch on Twitch.