In a surprising twist to the heartwarming rise of Chess on Twitch, Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has had to apologize for sleeping through the PogChamps 2 tournament following “animosity” with Hikaru Nakamura.
Soon after being signed to TSM, Chess GM Hikaru was part of TSM’s losing effort in a Fall Guys tournament. Ever the joker, xQc teased about the organization’s failings on stream, spurring a sequence of drama with Hikaru being offended, the Canadian feeling bad about offending him, subsequently skipping the PogChamps 2 tournament so that the two wouldn’t need to interact, and, finally, him apologizing and clearing the air.
As TSM struggled, sitting at 20th place in a Fall Guys Tournament, xQc joked on stream that “TSM has got a lot of wins over the years, today is not a day that they will Tweet about getting a W.” Annoyed over their performance, Hikaru saw the clip and was visibly disappointed, reacting by saying “this what it’s come to, really?
Following this uncomfortable quasi-interaction between the two, xQc was a no-show for the PogChamps 2 Chess tournament, understandably eliciting a negative reaction from Hikaru and the community. Another chess streamer, EasyWithAces, was not shy about voicing his annoyance: “I don’t care if he’s the biggest streamer on Twitch … I hear that xQc didn’t show. What a d**khead … That’s rude as f**k.”
Eventually, the air was cleared and the drama was squashed. On his end, xQc explained on stream that Hikaru “looked mad at me … and I felt really bad” and did not want the chess pro to have to engage with him at all during a tournament “while he had animosity or saw me differently.”
Further, in DMs shared by Hikaru on stream, xQc apologized personally and let him know that he “f**ked up” and that the TSM comments were simply “org banter,” which “had nothing to do with [Hikaru].”
This all led to Hikaru, in turn, explaining his side and asserting that his initial response “was an overreaction, but that he “is not mad at xQc whatsoever … there is no beef at all.” To elaborate, he affirmed that the 24-year-old sleeping through one tournament pales in comparison to how much he has done for the popularity of Chess on Twitch.
In the spirit of competition, xQc’s match was actually postponed as PogChamps 2 decided to accommodate the scheduling snafu and he made amends by actually showing up for his match against ‘itshafu.’