Online poker platform PokerStars has announced the sponsorship of Brazilian esports organisation FURIA.
The relationship is said to be brought to life across both brands, offering the poker and esports communities ‘unique entertainment opportunities and content,’ according to a release.
As a result of the agreement, the pair has unveiled a team of poker streamers, led by PokerStars ambassador and FURIA Chief Executive Officer André Akkari. Prior to founding FURIA in August 2017 alongside Jaime “raizen” Pádua, Akkari was known as one of the best Brazillian professional poker players in the world.
“Poker plays a natural part in Furia’s DNA,” said Akkari. “It’s all about making optimal decisions in the moment for long-term results. The partnership is a natural step for expansion as we look to move beyond eSports.”
The deal will see PokerStars branding placed on the left and right sleeves of FURIA’s official jersey. The organisation is most well-known for its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster, but also fields a team in the Brazilian League of Legends Championship.
Associate Director of Public Relations at PokerStars Rebecca McAdam-Willets added: “The team at Furia work very hard, lead by example, and are always looking to improve and evolve. This approach, as well as their general ethos, sits extremely well with what we aim for at PokerStars. It will be exciting for us to see what we can bring our community and how we can engage new audiences by working together with such a passionate team.”
Traces of PokerStars can be found in the esports industry dating as far back as May 2016 when the company sponsored three Team Liquid players. In November 2017, PokerStars parent company Stars Group – now Flutter Entertainment – announced the launch of ‘Power Up,’ an esports-style card game meant to target a more competitive virtual poker player.
Esports Insider says: Brazil is home to undeniably one of the most passionate esports communities in the world, and it’s proven as a ripe opportunity for esports betting as well. With the addition of PokerStars, FURIA will now have the muscle of a blue-chip gambling brand behind it, especially when considering the scale of Flutter Entertainment and its properties which include FanDuel and Paddy Power.