888poker Joins eSports World with FlowEsports Partnership

December 9th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
888poker FlowEsports deal.

888poker and Team FlowEsports agree on a partnership deal that could bring more eSports fans into the poker world. (Image: YouTube/ Daniel C4mlann)

Poker and eSports moved another step closer to each other recently thanks to 888poker.

With insiders from both industries noting the similarities between the two disciplines for at least a year now, it comes as little surprise that 888poker has forged a partnership with FlowEsports.

The professional gaming, which is led by Daniel Märkisch, specializes in the popular game, Hearthstone.

Joining Märkisch (C4mlann) on Team FlowEsports is Tobias Graap (TwoBiers), Vetle Stubberud (Xzirez) and Johannes Steindl (JonnyStoneHS), all of who compete in professional tournaments and stream to more than 10,000 Twitch fans every week.

Pros Crossing Over

As well as testing their power of skill and logic in the eSports arena, two of the team also plays poker. In addition to scheduling one poker show per week via the FlowEsports Twitch channel, Märkisch and Steindl have played (and cashed) in a recent WSOP Circuit event in the Czech Republic.

With Hearthstone (a card-based game) and poker having a number of crossover skills, 888poker will be hoping to attract some of the game’s 40 million fans with this new deal.

As well as FlowEsports’ members playing on the site when they stream to their fans, 888poker will be hosting special tournaments and events to mark the new collaboration.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a deal between a poker site and prominent figures in the eSports community. At the start of December, PokerStars pro Randy Lew aka nanonoko announced that he is now a member of Team Liquid.

Following his PokerStars stalemate Bertrand Grospellier, Lew will take part in Hearthstone tournaments as part of a dual relationship between PokerStars and Team Liquid.

Another Source of Inspiration

As much as casual players and casino fans have been the target of online poker sites in recent months, eSports competitors have also been touted as a way to bring new people to the game.

Although there has always been implicit links between the two industries (i.e. gamers becoming poker pros), the last 12 months have seen a host of formal partnerships blossom.

While it’s unclear if these relationships are actually resulting in more players crossing from one game to another, pros such as Daniel Negreanu have started to appreciate the nuances of Hearthstone.

What’s more, with PokerStars and now 888poker starting to embrace eSports, there’s a chance many of the industry’s smaller operators will follow suit.

Although it might take more than a few sponsorship deals to attract a real influx of players, things certainly appear to be moving in the right direction.

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