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PogChamps Twitch chess tournament returning with xQc, Mizkif, more

by Calum Patterson

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Chess.com has confirmed that the PogChamps chess tournament on Twitch is returning, once again with an all-star cast of streamers battling for a share of the $50,000 up for grabs.

Chess has become an unlikely winner on Twitch in 2020, suddenly finding thousands of new viewers, mainly thanks to big-name streamers trying their hand at the legendary board game.

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Twitch is better known for video game streaming, but with chess now an online multiplayer game in its own right, it's a somewhat natural progression to see it gain traction on the platform.

xQc being checkmated on chess
Twitch: Chess
xQc losing in only 6 moves against moistcritikal became a viral meme from the last PogChamps tournament.

With the hype continuing, Chess.com are returning with PogChamps 2, a sequel to their successful first event, starting on August 21.

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PogChamps chess players

Headlining the tournament are some of the biggest streamers on all of Twitch, including:

  • xQc
  • IWillDominate
  • TF Blade
  • Mizkif
  • Austin (Prev. RajjPatel)
  • Cizzorz
  • David Pakman
  • Hafu
  • Gripex90
  • Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson aka The Mountain
  • QTCinderella
  • Wagamama
  • EasyWithAces

Clearly, these streamers are not all chess experts, but some, like xQc, have been receiving some of the best training possible from chess Grandmaster and fellow Twitch streamer Hikaru Nakamura.

Twitch PogChamps 2 stream

Running from August 21 to September 6, matches will be streamed on individual competitor's channels, but you can also catch the main broadcast on Chess.com's channel. At the last event, Hikaru and other experts provided commentary on the main stream as matches were ongoing.

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The event itself will run in a similar format to the first tournament, starting with four groups of four once all 16 competitors are finalized. Top two from each group move to the championship bracket, while the bottom two move to the consolation bracket.

Top prize in the championship bracket is $10,000, while consolation players will compete for the top prize of $3,500.

Though not seen traditionally as an esport, Chess.com are hoping that with more players watching competitive play on Twitch, it could naturally fit among the likes of League of Legends and CS:GO.

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Of course, the streamers taking part are far from the best chess players in the world, but their star power is enough to attract fans. The popularity of chess on the platform has led to top-level players like Nakamura and Alexandra Botez, a Woman FIDE Master, growing massively on their personal channels.