TSM is quickly growing to be one of the biggest streaming teams on Twitch. Alongside its dozens of esports pro players, TSM also has plenty of talent that it sponsors just for streams, and the newest member of the team is chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura.
While picking up a chess streamer may sound like a surprise to fans who are mostly used to watching Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone on Twitch, it’s actually been one of Twitch’s fastest growing categories over the last several months. As Insider pointed out in July, chess has gained a major following during the COVID-19 pandemic with higher than usual YouTube views and frequent trips into the top 20 most streamed games on Twitch.
Even Shroud is shocked at his Twitch viewer count after returning
And Nakamura has been a big part of that growth. Nakamura is the top ranked blitz player in the world and fourth ranked in rapid chess, according to FIDE rankings, making him one of the best chess players in the world. He’s also one of the biggest chess streamers on Twitch with frequent coaching streams that involve other big-name streamers like XQC and an average of over 14,000 viewers a stream, according to Twitch Metrics.
Nakamura’s TSM signing was announced on Thursday with a short hype video from the organization, and a longer explanation that Nakamura uploaded to his own YouTube channel.
Nakamura streams nearly every day on his Twitch channel, and will be competing in an international online tournament later this year against the likes of world number one ranked player Magnus Carlsen and chess legend Garry Kasparov, which will also be streamed on Nakamura’s channel.
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