Bringing e-sports and poker together? Why not? And this is exactly what Fedor Holz, Stefan Schillhabel and Steffen Sontheimer did by launching No Limit Gaming.
It was not the first attempt to do this: Global Poker League had such a plan once, but the project did not last longer than one season. The No Limit Gaming initiative is likely to be more successful. Or at least more promising: since Poker Shares (owned by Mike McDonald, a famous poker player) and a financial backer, decided to sponsor this event. People like Mike McDonald know who to back!
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In 2018, some well-known poker players appeared in the world series of poker wearing a segmented triangle-shaped logo and the inscription NLG beneath it. The abbreviation certainly contained a soft-trolling allusion for NLP; as we all know how popular the “mental” agenda is among poker professionals!
But NLG stands for “No Limit Gaming.” This is a nice coming out, isn’t it? Especially for something that is “coming soon,” as announced on their website. Who are these people who have decided to create their own e-sports team?
The Founders of NLG
Fedor Holz aka CrownUpguy: a brilliant poker pro who won $26,550,884 in live poker tournaments, 2016 WSOP champion, a bracelet holder, #4 in All Time Money List.
Stefan Schillhabel: won $9,257,866 in live tournaments, 2016 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star champion, a skilled and hard-working young professional, #83 in All Time Money List.
Steffen Sontheimer: $8,730,087 in live events, having won $1,512,000 in Poker Masters, 2017; another outstanding young professional, #48 in All Time Money List.
It is fascinating and even exciting to see these top-class poker players representing No Limit Gaming in e-sports. Many German players represent a new generation of young poker professionals in their team. This new wave, sometimes called “Ze Germans” has gained a good reputation. Here is the list of NLG team members with CrownUpGuy:
No Limit Gaming Perspective and Challenges
So far, very little is known about the No Limit Gaming initiative. But the list itself is full of the high-roller poker players, who are going to focus on buy-in tournaments, supposedly on the high side; and all this tells us that the initiative is at least very ambitious, and that there’s going to be some serious money at stake.
But it is unlikely that big money games will become a priority; for as the founders have said, they have already fought their way to the top. They have learned well enough what it takes to get where they are and to stay competitive at the highest level. Now, using the wealth of experience and knowledge they have accumulated, it is time for them to transfer all this to the world of e-sports; in order to form and train their teams of poker players.
Transferring experience even “inside” the same game is always difficult. But “outside” transfer — from one game to another — can be even more problematic. And this is exactly the case here, as well: poker and e-sports are different! E-sports is a range of online games, like StarCraft and Counter-Strike. There are many differences from poker; and although theoretically poker and e-sports have a lot in common, they still have some great potential to learn from each other.
But in practice, the differences do matter a lot; and the effective merging of poker and e-sports is certainly going to be a challenging task. This task would probably imply not only gaining some learning experience, but also learning some really hard lessons; especially where there is big money at stake!
And it is going to happen! According to some experts, a big money storm is exactly what the e-sports industry should be anticipating. Indeed, it is estimated that by 2021, the global e-sports market will reach $1.6 billion. Anticipating this development, and getting a whiff of the challenges arising here (as well as the opportunities at stake!), some professional poker players are definitely going to try and get their slice of the pie as well!
Will the Idea Work?
It is always interesting to find out whether a bold idea works or not. But it is more interesting to see how such an initiative will grow and develop! Additional intrigue is related to the fact that NLG is based in Vienna, and, as we know, “Primed Mind,” a company launched and owned by Fedor Holz, is located there too.
Are the new cyber sports team consisting of famous and successful poker professionals going to succeed at surprising the world of e-sports with their effective mindset approaches? Are they going to bring an exciting new development to cyber gaming? It seems that they are going to give it a good try; so we will soon find out what kind of success is in store!