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Cleaving heads to playing chess: Mountain from GoT to take part in chess tournament

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Cleaving heads to playing chess: Mountain from GoT to take part in chess tournament - THE SPORTS ROOM

Chess.com, the renowned online chess platform is returning with their second edition of its Twitch streamer event Pogchamps. Announced on July 20th, which is celebrated as the International Chess Day, the Pogchamps 2 tournament feature a number of top Twitch streamers, competing for a total prize pool of $50,000! Plus the cherry on the top, The iconic ‘Mountain’ aka Hafthor Björnsson from Game of Thrones is a participant!

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Cleaving heads to playing chess: Mountain from GoT to take part in chess tournament - THE SPORTS ROOM

The first Pogchamps was hosted from 5th to 19th June with 16 renowned Twitch streamers as participants. While none of the players themselves are professional players, the tournament saw the presence of Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura as the commentator.

Pogchamps 2: The Mountain from GoT to take part chess.com’s upcoming tournament

The second edition, Pogchamps 2, will set forth on and from August 21. Hafthor Björnsson, the Icelandic strongman and actor, famous for his character of ‘The Mountain’ in Game of Thrones, has a huge Twitch channel, and will join up with 15 more top streamers.

Until now, the other streamers that are confirmed to join Hafthor in the tournament are xQcOW, itsHafu, Mizkif, TFBladeAustinshow, and IWillDominate.

The participants will be split into four groups. From each group, the top two players will enter the championship bracket, while the bottom two will head for the consolation bracket. Both brackets will feature single elimination. The top prize of the consolation bracket is $3.5K, while the tournament champion will be awarded $10K.

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This time, GM Nakamura will be joined by Woman FIDE Master Alexandra Botez and IM Daniel Rensch for commentary duty.

The first edition of Pogchamps, saw an incredible 3.53 million unique viewers and a concurrent view count of 87.3K. The second Pogchamps will also be streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a number of other online platforms.

“We’ve long had the vision that chess could be a really great esport, and that at some point it would catch on,” Brenan Klain, COO of chess.com spoke to Esports Observer, “and we’ve had successes here and there with good events, and some good attention on different things, but PogChamps was our best one yet by a long shot.”

The participants, not being professional players, are undergoing coaching from top chess streamers such as GM Daniel “The Prophet” Naroditsky, WGM Qiyu “akaNemsko” Zhou etc.

“Streaming and esports has been part of our strategy for five-plus years. We’ve been investing in it and trying to find ways to make it as successful as possible, and we’re starting to reap those fruits now, when the climate is right for a spotlight to be shown on chess,” Klain added.

The tournament aims to gather the attention of many professional and amateur level players around the world, as well as regular people with an interest in the game. Pogchamps 2 will be streamed live from 21st August on Chess.com/tv.

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Cleaving heads to playing chess: Mountain from GoT to take part in chess tournament - THE SPORTS ROOM

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