The Season 1 of the Global Poker League which is comprised of 12 teams from Europe and America have concluded last week with the Montreal Nationals winning in the finals against the Berlin Bears, claiming the first-ever GPL Championship title.
Things are just getting really interesting as the GPL announces today the launch of GPL China, which is set to kick off after the Spring Festival. A league created to satiate the Asian nation's growing appetite for poker, GPL China Season 1 shall debut with 8 teams. Each team is going to represent a diverse city located in the country.
GPL China's 8 team managers shall be announced within the next 2 months, ultimately choosing their team lineup from a selection of GPI ranked pros, celebrities and online qualifiers. While the players and managers have not been named yet, the league's 8 preliminary teams are already given a name:
- Beijing Great Dragons
- Shanghai Golden Tigers
- Guanghzou Pioneers
- Shenzhen Eagles
- Hangzhou Legends
- Xi'an Warriors
- Chengdu Pandas
- Tianjin Guardians
When the league playoffs begin, matches shall be played live and online, and shall be viewed livestream via many media partners throughout China and worldwide.
Gambling and card games have long been popular in China, and the GPL being televised is expected to become a hit.
Tagged as the "The NBA of Poker", this event shall operate independently from GPL's main league, and its purpose is to put emphasis on poker being an e-sport and mind sport in China - people working together as a team playing Texas Hold'em format that shall make it as popular as other mainstream skill-based leagues within the area.
The Global Poker Index (GPI), the poker industry's ranking authority having profiled 500,000+ players across 194 countries, have underpinned GPL China which takes inspiration from the video game industry, modern sports and combined them with lessons learned from the GPL Season 1.