Legendary poker pro, Fedor Holz, becomes the most recent public figure to jump onto the eSports train. According to ESPN, the German poker player acquired a minority stake in popular gaming company Envy Gaming. Inc. in the second quarter of 2017’s fiscal year. Envy Gaming is the parent company of the Dallas Fuel and the renowned Team Envy both of which Holz will be a minority owner.
The venture into the eSports world is certainly a bold move for the poker Phenom who has won nearly $27 million in live tournaments with the most recent being in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $111,111 High Roller for One Drop where he cashed in nearly $5 million. During this event, Holz’s had left a few Easter eggs that hinted his intention to be an eSports entrepreneur – he donned a Team EnvyUS jersey at the final table which he won and then proceeded to announce that he would be spending less time playing poker so as to focus more on his entrepreneurial ventures.
Holz’s relationship with Envy was initially set off by his friendship with Nathan “NBK” Schmitt, a former Envy Gaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player who introduced him to Envy Gaming’s CEO Mike “Hastr0” Rufail. Holz expressed that his interest in joining the company was motivated by a number of reasons.
“I like to invest in things that I’m emotionally connected to because I feel that I contribute the most but I also get the most out of it,” Holz said in an interview with an ESPN reporter. “I like Envy, I like to watch, I like the way they build their infrastructure and team, take care of their players. And it was just a corporation I wanted to be a part of in some way.”
Envy Gaming which was founded in 2007 as a competitive Call of Duty team has already proven its success in the eSports industry – Team Envy bagged the 2016 eSports Team of the Year award at the NowTV ESports Industry Awards. Holz is confident that his input will come in handy especially in regards to mindset issues that may disrupt the performance of young players at the higher and more competitive levels.
“Talking to these players and seeing them myself, a lot of them still struggle with their mindset because they’re really young and the pressure starts really early,” Holz added. “I feel that the mindset or the way you approach the game has very low importance so far compared to more seen sports. I think we can bring some of that into the game, and I’d love to tackle more of that in the next year.”