Amaya’s Full Tilt will become the first major online poker brand to launch on Steam, the digital gaming platform owned by Valve Gaming, after it was voted through the platform’s Greenlight process.

After thousands of Steam community members voted for the Full Tilt.net play money game during the Greenlight process, used by Valve to gauge interest in adding new products to the platform, Valve has agreed to launch the product on its platform.

This will see Full Tilt launch on Steam, exposing the brand and the software to an audience of almost 125m gamers, with the product to go live by the end of 2015.

“The opportunity to introduce our game to the millions of players who make up the Steam gaming community is really important to us,” Full Tilt managing director Dominic Mansour commented. “We will be the first major online poker brand on the platform and the move underlines our strategic intentions to explore new avenues for our games.

“This is just one of a number of steps that we’re taking to find new audiences and we are excited about the opportunities that we’ll uncover as a result. The Greenlight qualification process has been very interesting and has provided us with some excellent insights into the wider gaming community,” Mansour continued.

“We are very grateful for the support we received from the Steam community and our own player base. Our Greenlight success underlines our commitment to bring the game we love to a wider player base, and will help support a number of further initiatives we have planned for the near future.”

Meanwhile, PokerStars has announced that Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier has become the first person to be named as a professional poker and eSports player after joining the Netherlands-based Team Liquid.

Grospellier has joined Team Liquid to play Hearthstone, an online collectible card game created by World of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment, but will continue to represent PokerStars as part of its team of professional players.

While he has accumulated more than $10m in tournament wins and won a Triple Crown of the European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker titles, Grospellier originally started out as a competitive gamer.

He is renowned as one of the most successful players of real-time strategy game StarCraft – another Blizzard Entertainment title – and placed second in the 2001 World Cyber Games and the 2002 Ongamenet WarCraft Retail League before winning the Euro Cyber Games in 2003.

“As it was a dream come true for me to join PokerStars Team Pro, today another of my dreams becomes reality as I become a Team Liquid player,” Grospellier said. “When I discovered poker, I had to make the difficult choice to leave the competitive gaming world to focus my energy fully on poker. Hearthstone is one of the first games that shares the same skills as poker, and I am very excited for what the future holds in my multi-gaming career.”

PokerStars director of poker communications Lee Jones added: “There are many similarities between poker and gaming, and ElkY’s unrivalled success in both fields is a testament to his unwavering thirst for skill and strategy games.

“As the boundary between poker players and strategy gamers continues to blur, it is trailblazers such as ElkY who are narrowing the gap between people who consider themselves gamers, and those who consider themselves poker players. We look forward to the new era of strategy gaming that ElkY’s appointment represents.”

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