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Chess is blowing up on Twitch like never before

Chess is seeing a renaissance online? (Image via chess.com)
Chess is seeing a renaissance online? (Image via chess.com)
Rishabh B.
ANALYST
Modified 22 Jan 2021
Feature

Of late, Twitch has seen an increased influx of content creators who have been playing/streaming chess on an everyday basis.

Chess has increased in popularity in recent months for several reasons. While some reasons apply to Twitch streamers and viewers, the sport has seen an overall increase in popularity.

This is due to the release of the critically acclaimed Netflix movie “The Queen’s Gambit,” which has seen a 1048% increase in chess sales over the past year, as reported by various toy and games companies.

Moreover, most chess tournaments have recently been taking place online, which is in addition to the fact that multiple professionals have taken steps to increase their global audience in the past few months.


Chess is blowing up on Twitch for so many reasons!

It is often agreed upon that films and media have a massive impact on the trends that society follows.

Having come out in October, the Queen’s Gambit appears to have had a similar one in the US. Chess.com has reported that their monthly users have increased to around 125,000, compared to the earlier figure of 50,000-60,000.

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Twitch has also seen an increase in the number of online chess tournaments held in recent months. Chess.com has introduced the PogChamps chess tournament series.

Twitch streamers Andrea and Alexandra Botez’s BlockChamps tournament was also sponsored by the website and resulted in an increased number of viewers and streamers tuning into the game.

What’s more, the emergence of professional chess player Hikaru “GMHikaru” Nakamura on Twitch has meant that viewers have a legitimate professional on Twitch to look up to for tips and advice.

Hikaru Nakamura has streamed chess games with some popular chess professionals and has attracted quite an audience.

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GMHikaru currently has around 869k followers on Twitch and has featured some top content creators on his channel. This list includes Imane “Pokimane” Anys, the Botez sisters, and many other content creators who have helped increase the game’s popularity on Twitch.

These reasons have resulted in chess becoming hugely popular, with an increase in the numbers of viewers and live channels.

The game has recently been registering its best-ever numbers on Twitch, with around 160,000 peak viewers registered on January 16th. The same figure had been around 24,000 in January 2020, with a peak viewership of approximately 29,000 people.

Image via Twitch Tracker
Image via Twitch Tracker
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As seen in the graphs, the same has been true as far as the number of Twitch channels streaming chess content is concerned, with Twitch Tracker registering a stellar increase in overall numbers.

Image via Twitch Tracker
Image via Twitch Tracker

While the reasons for this trend are plenty, quite a few online tournaments are coming up, which means that the game will continue being famous on the platform for some time to come.

Published 22 Jan 2021, 15:58 IST
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