Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier Wins His First Hearthstone Tournament

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier is now stranger to holding trophies aloft having won 11 major live poker titles in his career to date, but last week the Frenchman won a different kind of tournament.

Grospellier became the first player to be signed as a sponsored pro by both an online poker site and an esports team in November 2015 when he penned a deal with Team Liquid, one of the world’s leading professional esports teams, as a professional Hearthstone player.

The man known as “ElkY,” in the poker community is no stranger to competitive gaming as he was a professional StarCraft player before discovering poker, and was rated as one of the best StarCraft players in the world during his heyday. Until the weekend of March 26, 2016, Grospellier had not tasted Hearthstone success in a major competition, but he’s changed that fact by winning the Redemption Cup at the Insomnia Truesilver Championship 2, and while his victory only netted Grospellier £1,000, we’re sure he is delighted to have triumphed in the UK-based tournament.

Bertand 'ElkY' Grospellier

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Grospellier after a mix-up regarding time difference saw him turn up an hour late for his first match, and lose 0-3 as a consequence. However, Grospellier won his next five games to find himself in the last eight of the 69-player competition, albeit with him languishing in eighth place.

Due to the seeding of the last eight, Grospellier had to take on the number one seed, “IvanFloch” in the opening match, a match he won 3-1. Grosepellier’s next opponent was “Ersee” and the Frenchman sent him packing, beating him 3-2, to set up a final with “Greensheep,” which ElkY won 3-0 in a series of games you can watch below.

What is Hearthstone?

Hearthstone is a fast-paced strategy card game from Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the popular video games Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, which has similarities to Magic the Gathering. In October 2015, Alex Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Global Poker Index and Global Poker League, wrote a blog for the Huffington Post where he claimed Hearthstone and video games are the biggest threat to online poker.

The popularity of Hearthstone shows no signs of slowing down. In the 18 months after launching in March 2013, a staggering 30 million players registered for a Hearthstone, including Grospellier’s fellow Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.

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