TSM signs its first professional chess player to Hikaru Nakamura
TSM esports organization has signed its first professional chess player, Hikaru Nakamura. He is an American grandmaster, five-time champion and the youngest American to reach this rank at the age of 15. Besides being recognized as one of the best chess players in the world, Nakamura is a popular Twitch streamer in his own right. He is considered a leader when it comes to establishing chess on the live streaming platform, where he has over 500,000 subscribers. When news broke that he had signed with TSM, it was actually being broadcast live to over 18,000 people.
A 15-year-old chess prodigy, now five-time United States champion and world’s highest-rated blitz player.
– TSM (@TSM) August 27, 2020
Nakamura often plays digital versions of streaming chess, but the real board game is his real bread and butter. One of its biggest sponsors, Chess.com, has partnered with Twitch to promote the game’s presence on the site. Nakamura has coached other well-known pros as well as streamers like Tfue and has helped organize tournaments to bring chess to a bigger stage on the platform. With chess being one of the oldest professional games that isn’t traditionally physical, it makes sense that TSM fits into this world. Another esports organization, Cloud9, appeared to be inspired by the signing of Nakamura to TSM and directed a tweet to Magnus Carlsen; who happens to be the highest ranked chess player in the world.
– Cloud9 (@ Cloud9) August 27, 2020
Nakamura is on par with Carlsen, peaking at Rank 2 in October 2015. He still ranks among the best in the world, his last recorded position being in May of this year at age 18. His recent signing on TSM and his Twitch initiatives will surely convey the connection between esports and chess.