PokerStars have signed Furia’s founder Andre Akkadi as a PokerStars ambassador. This is the first stage in a planned team-up with the Furia organization.
Furia was initially founded as a competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team in 2018. Since then, the Brazilian team has been looking to expand its operations. Since PokerStars have been looking to convert eSports fans into rakeable poker players, the match seemed ideal.
Furia’s most recent result was a first-place finish in the Intel Extreme Masters XV – New York Online: North America on October 18th. This follows first place finishes in other events in August and September worth some $140k combined. So Furia comes with a high enough profile in eSports to make Stars sit-up and listen.
A seat at the table
The overlap between eSports and online poker feels pretty natural.
Online poker is also a geek’s game. It too favors an obsessive and strategic mind, an ergonomic bucket seat, and sharp mouse-to-eye coordination. Misclicks can be as expensive in a cash game as a missed shot in an FPS.
Akkari described poker as playing a “natural part in Furia’s DNA.” He went on to add that, “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.”
Neither Stars nor Furia has dropped the exact details of what this collaboration will look like. But one imagines it will all start on Twitch, where both poker and CS:GO players tend to grind their organs for the masses.
Rebecca McAdam-Willets, an Associate Director of Public Relations for PokerStars said, “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.
Furia is also bringing two new PokerStars ambassadors to the table.
Laurie “Lali” Tournier is a Brazilian pro with $52,476 in live tournament winnings. She has played events in Brazil, Spain, and the U.S., and is a popular Twitch streamer. She plays poker for her 12k followers, and occasionally streams video-game sessions for variety.
Her other half, Rafael “Rafa” Moraes is joining the team too. He makes up the third leg of the Furia-Stars tripod. He brings $1.6 million in tourney wins with him.
They will both be joining Akkari.
McAdam-Willet’s ended her quote-to-press by saying that “it will be exciting for us to see what we can bring to our community and how we can engage new audiences by working together with such a passionate team.”
It will indeed.
Featured image source: Instagram