Entertainment

Chess Grandmaster Hikaru joins TSM after blowing up on Twitch

Published: 27/Aug/2020 19:04 Updated: 27/Aug/2020 19:10

by Alan Bernal

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Team SoloMid have signed Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura to their team, inviting him to compete, stream, and bring more trophies to the celebrated esports organization.

Nakamura has been a sensation in the Chess landscape for decades, so it’s fitting for him to join one of the most heralded North American teams in the industry. However, the timing is no mistake.

The centuries-old strategic board game has been having somewhat of a reawakening on Twitch, where thousands of younger audiences have been catching on to the brilliant competitors-turned-streamers on the platform.

In an unexpected signing on August 27, TSM are cementing their position in the larger competitive Chess arena by adding the five-time United States Chess Champion among their ranks.

“One thing I really want to do is, whomever I represent, try to bring home titles, bring home trophies,” he said of the signing. “I feel that my best opportunity to do that will be at TSM.”

Like the organization that will now be sponsoring the player in events and title games, Nakamura has a history of being the best in his field.

During his rise, he became the youngest competitor to ever become a chessmaster, international master, and then grandmaster. His place in the grander world of competitive chess had already been imprinted long before the August announcement.

He’s the number one player in the world at Blitz chess, a variant on the historic game that adds an intense time-crunch pitting players against each other and the clock.

But the last two years has also made Nakamura the number one chess streamer on Twitch. His popularity exploded outside of the constrained environments of competitions, where his name would only spread by indoor voices from chess enthusiasts.

At the turn of 2019, his presence on Twitch steadily grew in the oft-forgotten annals of the streaming site’s Chess category. But then early 2020 catapulted him and chess as a whole.

Where he would average around 600-2000 viewers in the first phases of 2019, he now easily pulls in 6000 people or more per stream, peaking at around 28,000 during the inaugural Chess.com PogChamps event in early June.

chess grandmaster hikaru nakamura tsm
TSM
TSM branch into competitive chess, which, as more events turn online, very-technically makes it an esports signing.

Thrust into the limelight, people like Nakamura, sisters Alexandra and Andrea Botez, Robert Hess, and more brightly shined; combining intricate, thoughtful approaches to the game paired with incredible personalities to invite newcomers.

Now TSM will be working with him to propel him to even greater heights in their respective industries for one of the more intriguing collaborations in recent memory.

Entertainment

Logan Paul reacts to Jake calling him a “fake fighter” before Floyd Mayweather bout

Published: 5/Jan/2021 23:39

by Virginia Glaze

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YouTube star Logan Paul is set to throw down with undefeated professional boxer Floyd Mayweather this February — but little brother Jake Paul isn’t a fan of their upcoming bout, even calling his sibling a “fake fighter.”

The Paul brothers have unexpectedly shifted from their careers as top-tier YouTubers into white-collar boxers. Ever since August 2018, the two have dedicated their time to training and scoring high-profile matches; and Logan may have taken the cream of the crop.

On December 6, 2020, it was announced that Logan would be fighting 50-0 pro boxer Floyd Mayweather in a “Super Exhibition” match in February 2021. This news seemed to overshadow Jake’s 2nd round KO over Nate Robinson a week prior, which may have influenced his thoughts on his older brother’s upcoming match.

“My brother is f**ked,” Jake taunted in an interview with TMZ. “It’s bad for the sport. I think it’s just for clout. You know, my brother’s a fake fighter. I’m the real fighter. He’s 0-1, I’m 3-0.”

A week later, Logan has finally responded to his little bro’s scathing words — and it’s safe to say that he’s a little confused as to where the venom is coming from, although he’s completely unfazed by the insults.

“I’m like, little brothers up to some s**t, like he wants to get some attention for a sec, go for it,” he said of the matter. “But I fully support Jake — whatever drama he wants to stir or create, it really doesn’t bother me. ‘You’re a fake boxer.’ Okay. Let’s box, because Jake is the kid that gets beat up by my sparring partners.”

 

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“I’ve become like rubber sheet metal, dude,” he continued. “In this fight, everyone’s sayin’ a lot of things, and for good reason. I’m fighting Floyd f**king Mayweather! So I’ve literally become immune to every — I’ve heard it all.”

(Topic begins at 47:58)

Jake isn’t the only one unsure of his brother’s chances; even Mike Tyson claimed that Floyd would “beat [Logan’s] f***kin’ ass” when it comes time for their match.

While the odds are certainly against Paul, there’s still a chance that he might surprise his critics and go the distance against his formidable opponent.

Those hoping to see how it pans out can tune into the fight via Fanmio on February 20 as YouTube boxing takes yet another huge leap in the entertainment world.