No Limit Gaming – combining poker and e-sport

Hey guys, as you might know from my last blog I’m part of a venture since summer 2018 that combines poker and e-sport in a very unique way and I’d like to introduce the venture called “No Limit Gaming” and the idea behind it to you.

How it started…

It was in 2018 in Las Vegas when the idea was presented to me and first of all it sounded a bit weird – how should poker and e-sport be combined in a venture? What are the similarities between those two groups and what benefit could e-sport gain from poker and the other way around? How should it work anyway?
I have to admit that the whole project was already thought out very well and I guess that is one of the obvious benefits from poker because poker players typically have their strengths in analytics, optimizing and mental preparation. When I finally heard that partypoker would join the project as a sponsor too I was overjoyed because after joining Team partypoker myself I couldn’t think of a better main-sponsor for NGL or their poker squad. It’s that kind of priceless trust you wouldn’t get from too many companies or people that gives you another push of motivation for ambitious projects like this one.


What’s the idea behind it?

No Limit Gaming is a team of 15 poker players, including well known High Rollers like Fedor Holz, Steffen Sontheimer, Rainer Kempe and Niall Farrell just to name a few. But Stefan Schillhabel who had the basic idea for that project founded that team on purpose even if it is an absolute novelty to start an e-sport team with a poker squad.

The reason behind that is as simple as effective – all poker players are founders of the company as well and the experienced team shall generate money for the development of the e-sports section. The advantage of this strategy is to make the players free from pressure – pressure from potential sponsors who want to see short term success for their financial support and pressure from the players themselves to think that they have to show up instant with positive results.

To support that basic strategy NLG also was aware of the fact that professional e-sport needs a professional environment. That’s why they planned and organized a “team house” with 150 sqm in Vienna where the teams can work, train, stream and live together. To round off the whole thing the e-sport team gets a professional performance coach, two analysts and a sports psychologist who also worked with professional football players of Rapid Wien before. The conditions for a professional e-sport team couldn’t be much better.


Good things need time and patience

Nevertheless Limit Gaming wants his e-sport teams to have time to grow together and rise as a unit just like a poker player needs time and patience to develop his gameplay and his mindset. So time is an important factor and the transfer of this idea combined with long-term thinking from poker to a fast and sometimes hectic environment like e-sports is the real novelty of this project in my eyes. Supported by the poker team with financial independence this could be a real formula for success.


Band of Brothers and Sisters in spirit

As you can see poker and e-sport are quite similar – players of both sections want to be successful and be able to make a living by what they love. Both sections have similar obstacles to surpass for success and – since poker went online – reached an equal level at least of platforms they can be watched on. So the bottom line is that both sections are a band of brothers and sisters in spirit like all professional players and athletes are in a way.


What will the future bring?

Right now, No Limit Gaming had quite a good start with its e-sport squad in CS:GO and I’m quite sure that the poker fans can expect some High Roller team streaming from the NGL-house as well, maybe already during the KO Series on partypoker at the end of April.

It would be great if we could expand our influence on the twitch poker scene with the poker squad as well in the next months. However, the focus will be to improve the whole concept and build up a lasting environment where we can use all our strengths to train and develop a – perhaps – completely new sort of hybrid venture.

Personally I hope that ideas like this could give poker and e-sport another push in a new direction with another point of view how that business can, should and will work.

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