Since the summer of 2020, PogChamps has been a popular series of amateur chess tournaments in which internet personalities compete against each other online. The series was able to achieve over 16 million viewers and is considered partially responsible for the surging interest in chess. PogChamps, along with the success of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, has significantly increased internet traffic on the topic of chess. According to Chess.com, there are nearly 13 million chess games played on their website daily.
The success of the previous editions of the tournament series has also prompted Chess.com to double the prize pool from $50,000 to $100,000 while pledging that same amount to go to donations for charity. PogChamps 3 will also feature the return of professional commentary from Hikaru Nakamura and Alexandra Botez as well as Levy Rozman, Anna Rudolf and Danny Rensch.
The tournament has been able to draw in a stacked lineup of viral newcomers while also bringing back some familiar faces. The list of newcomers includes YouTuber MrBeast, popular streamer Pokimane, poker star Daniel Negreanu, famous rapper Logic and Dwight Schrute himself, Rainn Wilson. Streamers moistCriTiKaL, xQc and Ludwig are the returning fan-favorites. GM Hikaru shared the current lineup on Twitter and even offered Elon Musk and Arnold Schwarzeneggar spots in the tournament. The rest of the lineup will be shared prior to the start of the event.
PogChamps 3 will be streamed live on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and on Chess.com. The tournament will commence on Feb. 14 and will be completed with a declared winner on Feb. 28. The contestants will be playing Rapid 10+5 Time control matches and will advance into a championship bracket and a consolation bracket. The top two players from each group will go to the double-round-robin championship bracket.
The event will also broadcast content from previous PogChamps contestants in between the matches. Random viewers of the stream can be rewarded with a one-month Diamond membership for Chess.com. The membership will greatly enhance your chess skills by offering unlimited games, articles, tactics and lessons from mentors.
When Twitch partnered with Chess.com in 2017, attention toward the game was experiencing moderate growth. Because of the recent contributions from renowned chess personalities such as Hikaru Nakamura, chess has been achieving momentum on streaming platforms. That along with the backing of celebrities and internet icons is sending the centuries-old board game on its way to becoming a fairly renowned esport.