StarCraft II vs. Online Poker: A Mass Effect or a Minor Crisis?

Released on 27 July, StarCraft II is one of the most anticipated titles of the past decade in the PC player community. Many of the committed players of the 1998 first instalment are also pro or semipro online gamblers. Question is to what extent will SCII affect online poker?

Durrrr vs StarCratf

Some even expect the general traffic of online rooms to decrease to a level resembling that of five or six years ago, while others believe we talk about a minor effect of 1-5%. Indeed, some ’professional’ StarCraft players are also part of the poker elite (see Bertrand ’ElkY’ Grospellier, for example, who is also participating in today's EPT Tallinn Day 1B), but it is quite doubtful they are so many as to seriously diminish traffic once moving to play SCII. In addition, there is definitely less money in StarCraft (if any) and playing it for fun will not make poker players abandon gambling on that high scale. There are even arguments that some people leaving for SC is downright good for poker, as they are most probably grinders and semipros. You can follow the 2+2 discussion on the issue here.

Most surprisingly, there are a number of other relations between the two phenomena. Earlier this year, and organised a number of freerolls with copies of StarCraft II as first prizes. If that wasn’t enough, a Terran-themed ‘field issue’ SCII poker set was released at BlizzCon with 98 chips, two decks of cards and five dice in each.

When it comes to fans’ favourite occupations, crazy ideas just don’t seem to have an end.