Chess became a popular streaming category early on in the pandemic, drawing more than 41.2 million hours watched on Twitch from March to August. The board game’s surge in popularity is also hitting public markets and mainstream media.
Play Magnus Group — which offers services that allow users to play, watch and learn chess — recently listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with an $85.9 million valuation. Currently, the company has 3 million members and 35,000 paid subscribers.
The newfound popularity of one of the world’s oldest games is also at the heart of cognac brand Hennessy’s ad campaign around Maurice Ashley, the world’s first Black chess grandmaster.
Pandemic Chess Growth:
- PogChamps, an amateur chess tournament, was a top-viewed Twitch event in June, with 63,000 concurrent viewers.
- Twitch gamer Felix Lengyel has started offering classes to his 3.3 million followers.
- 605 million chess players worldwide.