Chess Grandmaster Hikaru joins TSM after blowing up on Twitch - Dexerto

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


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 PogChamps event in early June.

chess grandmaster hikaru nakamura 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.


NELK Boys trolled Khabib and got Dana White drunk ahead of UFC 254

Published: 29/Oct/2020 5:43

by Brad Norton


The NELK Boys were invited to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi ahead of UFC 254 and it didn’t take long before they had trolled Pay Per View headliner Khabib Nurmagomedov along with UFC President Dana White.

The NELK Boys are known for their antics so Dana White was well aware of what he was getting into by inviting them to Fight Island. Abu Dhabi served as host to a huge slate of UFC events throughout the course of September and October, closing out the latest stint with UFC 254.

The October 24 PPV made waves due to undefeated Nurmagomedov’s shock retirement after his 29th consecutive win. However, the NELK Boys made waves in their own way with a brand-new video.

Up to their usual antics, the crew played pranks on each other while mixing it up with UFC fighters. Outside of their shoey with Aussie heavyweight Tai Tuivasa, the NELK Boys trolled The Eagle and even got Dana White drunk.


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In a rare interaction with Khabib prior to what would be his final fight, they pranked him by asking for oddly specific MMA advice. “What is the most important aspect of fighting for any beginner fighter to focus on?” Kyle Forgeard asked.

Before Khabib could even answer, the plot thickened. Forgeard joked that the reason behind his interest in MMA is to fight the BMF Champ Jorge Masvidal after he slept with his girlfriend. “How old are you?” Khabib responded, going along with the joke. 

Realizing that he’s too old to start training, he had another solution in mind. “I think you have to buy [a] dog.” With a dog by his side, that might be Forgeard’s only chance, according to Khabib.

Next on the itinerary was to get the UFC President completely wasted. While they downed a few shots at the very beginning of the day, the real party came later that night. “I’ve got weigh-ins at 11 AM tomorrow,” White joked before taking another shot.

“Our goal is for Dana to not make it to the weigh-ins,” Forgeard said. Ultimately, that didn’t quite come to fruition but it’s clear they got him rather drunk. “We did like eight or 12 [shots] right in a row.”

The weigh-ins went off without a hitch and so too did the PPV event the following day. It was a short-lived trip for the NELK Boys on Fight Island, though it was one that proved all too valuable for some content.

This particular video ended with a teaser of what’s to come for the content creating crew too; it appears as though a call with the United States President is in store, courtesy of Dana White.