It’s not just video games drawing in viewers on Twitch. Chess has become a must-watch on the platform with five-time U.S. chess champion Hikaru Nakamura leading the way.
In May, Twitch viewers watched more than 8 million hours of chess, and its popularity has grown six times over since March. Chess has found itself among the top 20 games on Twitch, surrounded by more contemporary video games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. Nakamura himself has more than 366,000 followers on the platform.
Chess.com has also experienced growth during the coronavirus pandemic, gaining more than 700,000 members in March and more than 9 million games per day. It’s not all due to the pandemic, however. In 2017, Twitch partnered with Chess.com, and the Pro Chess League has created a significant digital esports footprint.