Alexandra Botez defends PogChamps 3 after chess GM slams "sad" Twitch event - Dexerto
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Alexandra Botez defends PogChamps 3 after chess GM slams “sad” Twitch event

Published: 22/Feb/2021 5:16 Updated: 22/Feb/2021 5:32

by Alex Tsiaoussidis

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Alexandra Botez defended PogChamps 3 after chess grandmaster Yan Nepomniachtchi slammed the “sad” Twitch tournament event, and expressed concern about it replacing “real chess” moving forward.

The internet has been going crazy over PogChamps 3, an online amateur chess tournament filled with Twitch streamers and celebrities including Logic, Pokimane, MrBeast, Myth, and xQc.

Chess.com claims it has done wonders for the scene and the broader chess community. They reported a massive increase in the number of people playing chess on their website since the tournament’s first iteration began in 2020.

However, not everyone shares their enthusiasm. Chess grandmaster Yan Nepomniachtchi slammed the event, which prompted Twitch streamer and chess master Alexandra Botez to sympathize but disagree with his claims.

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Instagram/missbotez
Alexandra Botez has helped popularize chess on Twitch.

“With all respect towards Chess.com and [the] amount of work they put into promoting chess, PogChamps 3 [is] popcorn stuff [and] is replacing and displacing any real chess content, and this is just terrifying,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I understand where Yan is coming from, especially as someone [who has] worked hard his entire life to get into the world top 10,” wrote Alexandra in response. “It would be absurd if, say, NBA players had less viewership and less sponsorship than streamers playing casual pickup basketball.”

“That being said, PogChamps isn’t to blame for a money/general appeal problem chess has always had,” she added. “On the contrary, the event helps grow the pool of viewers potentially interested in elite events like Tata Steel.”

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It’s not the first time Alexandra Botez has butted heads with chess grandmasters. She’s clashed with Hikaru ‘GMHikaru’ Nakamura several times.

It all started when he accused her of miscategorzing Twitch streams, and then it snowballed again several months later.

Love it or hate it, PogChamps 3 has drawn a lot of attention to chess, especially from people who wouldn’t usually be interested. It will be interesting to see how the discussion develops, and if we get a PogChamps 4 soon or later too.