Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier has become the latest member of “Team Liquid,” a Netherlands-based eSports organization that sponsors professional gamers. 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.
“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,” ElkY said. “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 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,” said Lee Jones, PokerStars’ director of poker communications. “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.