PokerStars.fr will sponsor the season 2 of the Esports European League, a CS:GO league broadcasted on Channel C8.
The Esport European League is not the first PokerStars esports sponsorship. Before this, they sponsored the world famous Team Liquid in 2016, and a CS: GO Gaminglive tournament in 2015.
The Esport European League, however, will be broadcasted on a French TV network and will likely have a prize pool of €20,000, a relatively low tier tournament.
This on its surface sounds like a great idea, it gives PokerStars an opportunity to promote their regulated site to potential customers and probably for relatively cheap, however, CS: GO may not be the right game for PokerStars to associate with.
Vocal parts of the CS: GO community have developed a strong distaste for anything related to gambling after two popular CS: GO Youtubers, ProSyndicate and TmarTn, were caught inciting their (mostly underage) viewers to try a CS: GO gambling site they had an undisclosed stake in.
The Esports Giant that owns Dota2 and Team Fortress -Valve Interactive- was embroiled in a class action lawsuit for simply allowing these sites to link to Steam, their online video game store service.
The whole scandal created a big stink in the Esports community and was the subject of a myriad of think pieces, here’s one from Independent Video Game Journalist Jim Sterling that breaks down the whole story for full context.
So it’s likely that the CS: GO community wouldn’t be as receptive to the PokerStars brand as the StarCraft, Hearthstone, and MOBA communities have been in the past. It’s worth noting, however, that the Franco and Anglo speaking CS: GO communities may have different views on the issue.
At the present time, the Esports European League season 1 is still underway and plans for the second season involve the two finalists coming back to defend the belt. All other teams will begin qualifying for the tournament in November.