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The Global Poker Index is moving beyond poker with a new emphasis on eSports, according to a press release from founder Alexandre Dreyfus.
The GPI will be re-imagined as the “Gaming Player Index” and will apparently attempt expand its comprehensive poker rankings to include eSports.
Dreyfus said the overlap between online poker and video gaming was simply too big to ignore at this point.
The transition is not a complete surprise considering the GPL has been very quiet about a potential second season of the Global Poker League this year.
Dreyfus told PokerListings that the Global Poker Index will continue to exist as a standalone product but it will be joined by other games, such as GPI Hearthstone, GPI Dota 2, etc.
“GPI will become the name for all competitive games.”
Massive Potential for eSports + Poker
Dreyfus went on to say that he doesn’t see the live poker industry changing much over the next five years but online poker will face some stiff competition from video games/mobile games like Hearthstone.
Dreyfus is hopeful the company will be able to take its strong background in ranking databases — from both the Hendon Mob and more recently GPI — and offer a compelling service in the gaming world.
“We envision GPI transforming into the Gaming Player Index – the Competitive Gaming Ranking Authority – and it makes us excited,” he said.
“We’d serve the same role across games as we have done for poker, aggregating and ranking players across games. Crunching the numbers and offering a full image of the competitive landscape in each game.”
The video game industry is currently estimated to be a $108b market (bigger than film and music industries combined) while online poker is limited to around $2b.
Global Poker League 2.0?
The inaugural season of the Global Poker League had some high points — the draft, actor Aaron Paul’s participation, intriguing match-ups— but failed to attract a wider audience.
The League featured 12 teams competing for the better part of a year in both live and online matches. The Montreal Nationals ended up winning the first-ever championship for $100,000 last December.
It’s not immediately when viewers will be getting another season of the GPL (although China is definitely getting one) but it sounds like if there is it will feature gaming or gaming personalities in some capacity.
“On top of GPI, we are also adjusting our plans for a broader GPL Season 2 to fit this strategy with additional partners,” Dreyfus said.
“We believe that poker has so much to give to the gaming community and vice-versa, but we need to embrace it fully in order to realize the level of change and growth we envision.”