Esports organization TSM has signed its first professional chess player, US grandmaster and five-time champion 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.
He is a five-time United States Chess Champion and has represented his country in the Chess Olympiads five times. “I got my start in Chess at the age of seven years old and I was really young… I played a lot became the youngest master in America at 10 years old breaking records there. I’ve won the United States Child Championship five times which is the third most… Then I broke Bobby Fisher’s record, the former World Champion to become the Grandmaster… And, I’m also number one ranked in the World Blitz Chess, so I’m just the best,” Nakamura said.
Hikaru is not only a professional chess player, but also a hotshot on Twitch. He is a big name on streaming platform Twitch, having more than 500,000 followers and thousands of concurrent viewers watching and learning from his streams. He is mostly seen playing online chess by himself or explaining intricate details about his strategic gameplay.