Who are Alexandra and Andrea Botez? The chess queens of Twitch - Dexerto
Entertainment

Who are Alexandra and Andrea Botez? The chess queens of Twitch

Published: 25/Jun/2020 20:00 Updated: 25/Jun/2020 21:43

by Theo Salaun

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As chess has surged in popularity on Twitch, so have some of the timeless game’s more charismatic professional players, like sisters Alexandra and Andrea Botez. 

Chess has existed in some form since the 6th century, with the standardization of its pieces coming in the 15th century and its rules in the 19th century. But the ancient game hadn’t fared well competing for views on Twitch until March 2020, when growth became substantial before turning exponential in May. The Botez sisters have been key to its surge.

 

Alexandra and Andrea are funny, engaging, and absolute savages on the chess board. While the chess community has been lambasted as elitist for gate-keeping against casuals, the Botez sisters feel like real people who just want to help the community grow (and maybe roast people, or themselves, along the way).

Alexandra, the older of the two, is just 24 years old but already an established force within the chess community, boasting the Woman FIDE Master title and numerous championships dating back to her time with the National Canadian Team as a 15-year-old.


Andrea, conversely, is just out of high school and devoid of international chess recognition despite being a talented player herself, with national competitions and some prize money under her belt. Together, they’re talented enough to help tutor celebrities like Hafthor “the Mountain” Bjornsson, but also humble enough to engage with their communities outside of the chess board.

That dynamic exemplifies the meteoric rise of chess on Twitch. The intrinsic qualities of chess, with its high skill-ceiling and steep learning curve, are not foreign to Twitch users. However, the game has lacked the interest of popular streamers and community engagement from skilled players. That changed in May 2020 when Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura decided to take the infamous Felix “xQc” Lengyel under his wing.

Often working alongside Nakamura, whether by providing tutelage, competing, or simply commentating in a burgeoning online chess scene, the Botez sisters have carved out a tremendous niche. Their channel has since gone from about 73,000 followers in May to near 250,000. 


With Twitch popularity dictated by both in-game talent and the ability to foster community, Alexandra and Andrea’s ability to mesh technical superiority with community engagement is unparalleled in chess. While Hikaru can be hilarious himself (especially when he’s dryly poking fun at players), the Botez sisters are entrenched in the platform’s culture and are avid propagators of the memes and conversations that help develop a fanbase with a foundation not solely built on raw chess skill.

Whether it’s dissecting chess matches, trying out games like Griftlands, or simply talking with (or roasting) their peers and fans on Just Chatting, the Botez sisters prove how much stronger your community can become when top players don’t take themselves too seriously.

Entertainment

How to watch the TikTok Room Awards: Nominees, results & more

Published: 28/Nov/2020 16:01

by Charlotte Colombo

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Popular drama page TikTok Room delighted its 1.8 million followers this week when, on November 25, they announced on their Instagram that they would be hosting their very own awards show!

The post also announced that voting would be on Friday 27 November, with the awards then streaming tonight on Saturday 28 November.

Details surrounding what the award categories were was initially vague, with the account teasing more information throughout the week before opening the polls on Friday for fans to vote for some of their favorite TikTokers in various categories.

Despite the categories remaining unclear prior to voting being open, that didn’t stop some of TikTok’s biggest stars endorsing the awards and encouraging fans to vote for them.

Among other famous faces like Skai Jackson, Nessa Barrett, and Jacob Sartorius, Sway House star Bryce Hall endorsed the awards in a video, joking that he was probably nominated in the “most problematic” category, while Charli D’Amelio, who recently reached 100k followers on the TikTok, told her fans that “there is a special award show on Sunday” and encouraged them all to vote.

Although some fans found that there was difficulty submitting their votes – with TikTok Room explaining in an Instagram post that this was due to heavy traffic on the form- by the time the polls were closed, TikTok Room announced that over 500,000 votes were cast after teasing fans earlier that day with just how close some of the categories were.

What are the categories?

The TikTok Room awards consists of 28 categories in total, and are as follows:

  • Most active with fans
  • Best couple
  • Best makeup
  • Most positive
  • Best style (male)
  • Best style (female)
  • Best ship
  • Best dancer (male)
  • Best dancer (female)
  • Best fandom
  • Funniest TikToker/ collab
  • Best diss track
  • Least problematic (male)
  • Least problematic (female)
  • Best role model
  • Best group/duo
  • Kindest TikToker
  • Best dance creator
  • Best song
  • Most talented musician
  • Most achieved (male)
  • Most achieved (female)
  • Favourite TikToker/ Influencer (male)
  • Favourite TikToker/ Influencer (female)
  • Best clapbacks/ comebacks
  • Best YouTuber
  • Best hair
  • Best house

The running order of these categories is not yet clear.

When do the TikTok Room awards start?

While the awards themselves start at 8pm Eastern Standard Time, TikTok Room have announced that there will be a pre-show from 6pm Eastern Standard Time.

It isn’t quite certain how exactly the awards will be broadcast, although TikTok Room did confirm to a fan in the comments section that they would be posting the results on their Instagram page throughout the night.

So, to watch the awards, your best bet is to keep an eye on TikTok Room’s Instagram account!