PogChamps

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PogChamps
PogChamps logo.png
GameChess
Founded2020
Owner(s)Chess.com
Venue(s)Twitch (online)

PogChamps is a series of online amateur chess tournaments hosted by Chess.com. Players in the tournament are internet personalities, primarily Twitch streamers. PogChamps takes place over the course of two weeks. The first and second PogChamps had prize pools of $50,000 each, and the third and fourth iterations had prize pools of $100,000 each.[1][2]

Tournament history[edit]

The first PogChamps tournament was announced in late May 2020 by Chess.com. The games were in a Rapid 10+5 Time control and all 16 players were streamers on Twitch.[3] Running from June 5–19, the tournament was won by League of Legends streamer Voyboy.[4] Coaching and commentary was provided primarily by Grandmaster (GM) Hikaru Nakamura and Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Alexandra Botez.[citation needed]

PogChamps 2 was announced on July 20, 2020 and was played from August 21st through September 6th. Some players returned from the first tournament, while others (such as David Pakman and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) played in the tournament for the first time.[5][2] PogChamps 2's lineup included some players who were not primarily Twitch streamers.[6] This event featured a slightly different format, with a double-round robin group stage.[7] Coaches included previously mentioned Nakamura and Botez, as well as GM Daniel Naroditsky, Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Qiyu Zhou, International Master (IM) Anna Rudolf and IM Levy Rozman.[6] The tournament was ultimately won by World of Warcraft and Hearthstone streamer Hafu (itshafu).[8]

PogChamps 3 was announced on January 11, 2021 and was played from February 14th through February 28th. Notable contestants for the third event include streamers xQc (marking his third time participating), Ludwig and MoistCr1tikal (marking their second times participating), as well as Myth, Pokimane, and Neekolul; YouTubers MrBeast and Michelle Khare, rapper Logic, actor Rainn Wilson and poker player Daniel Negreanu. In the announcement article, Chess.com noted how previous PogChamps tournaments, as well as other external events such as the success of The Queen's Gambit on Netflix, had led to a dramatic increase in the number of site registrations and daily games played, allowing them to gain several sponsorships for the third iteration of the series, which in turn led to an increased prize pool of $100,000.[9] The tournament was won by French streamer Sardoche.[10]

PogChamps 4 was announced in a video via Chess.com's official Twitter account on July 6, 2021 to be played beginning on August 29th. Sponsored by cryptocurrency marketplace Coinbase, the fourth iteration of the tournament has a $100,000 prize pool, with Chess.com matching up to $100,000 additionally for charity. In a Chess.com stream of the FIDE World Cup, Daniel Naroditsky confirmed that previous PogChamps participants MrBeast and Ludwig will return.[11] This information was further corroborated by an article announcing that in addition to MrBeast and Ludwig returning, notable Spanish streamer Rubius would return as well for the fourth iteration of the event.[12] The tournament was won by Dutch streamer Fundy.

Reception[edit]

Chess.com claimed that viewership for the first tournament exceeded its "ambitious estimates." Trent Murray of The Esports Observer commented that the number of hours of chess watched on Twitch increased in June 2020, the month in which the first PogChamps took place.[13] Viewership increased especially after video of Cr1TiKaL checkmating xQc within 6 moves went viral. David Llada, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for FIDE, said that the competition "demonstrates that chess can be fun from minute one."[14]

The reaction to PogChamps from the Chess community has been mixed. While GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Daniel Naroditsky, and Robert Hess; IMs Anna Rudolf, Levy "GothamChess" Rozman, and Daniel Rensch; WGM Zhou; and WFMs Botez and Cramling have all supported PogChamps by coaching players and providing commentary for the matches, a few others have been critical of its popularity and growth. In February 2021, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi tweeted saying PogChamps 3 is promoted "as a popcorn stuff" and "is replacing and displacing any real chess content."[15] GM Magnus Carlsen has called PogChamps a "good initiative" and tweeted that "[PogChamps 3] is doing a great job in [bringing] chess to more people."[16] GM Anish Giri responded tweeting that he is "in a complete agreement [with Magnus Carlsen] for once."[17]

Nepomniachtchi later clarified saying that he is "obviously happy more and more people are getting involved into chess."[18] He voiced his concern saying the "indisputable success of Chess.com Pogchamps might set a new standard of a chess show" and he "can’t be sure it won’t prevail over other formats."[19] In the twitter post he also mentioned that he had previously contributed to PogChamps by coaching PogChamps 2 winner itsHafu.[19] GM Nakamura has shared his perspective on multiple occasions, supporting the tournament saying that "anything that brings chess to a bigger audience, anything where people can get into the game (and) understand it, is always going to be helpful for growing the game without a doubt."[20]

Event results[edit]

Overview[edit]

# Year Champion Score Runner-up Consolation Winner Score Consolation Runner-up
1 2020 United States Voyboy 2.0–1.0 United States Hutch United States moistcr1tikal 2.0–1.0 United States ludwig
2 United States itsHafu 2.0–0.0 United States Gripex90 Republic of Ireland easywithaces 2.0–0.0 United States Cizzorz
3 2021 France Sardoche 2.0–1.0 United States RainnWilson United States Neeko 2.0–0.0 United States MichelleKhare
4 Netherlands Fundy 2.0–1.0 United Kingdom crokeyz United States MrBeast 2.0–1.0 Spain Rubius

PogChamps 1[edit]

Group Stage[21][22]
Group A
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 Voyboy 1 1 0 2
2 NateHill 0 ½ 1
3 fuslie 0 ½ Does not appear 1
4 erobb221 1 0 0 Does not appear 1
Group B
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 Hutch 1 1 1 3
2 Yassuo 0 1 1 2
3 moistcr1tikal 0 0 Does not appear 1 1
4 xQcOW 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group C
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 NymN 1 1 1 3
2 forsen 0 1 1 2
3 ItsSlikeR 0 0 Does not appear 1 1
4 xChocoBars 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group D
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 boxbox 1 1 1 3
2 Papaplatte 0 1 1 2
3 ludwig 0 0 Does not appear 1 1
4 Swiftor 0 0 0 Does not appear 0

Championship bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United States Voyboy 2.0
United States Yassuo 0.0
United States Voyboy 2.0
United States boxbox 0.0
United States boxbox 2.0
Sweden forsen 1.0
United States Voyboy 2.0
United States Hutch 1.0
Sweden NymN 2.0
Germany Papaplatte 0.0
Sweden NymN 1.0
United States Hutch 2.0
United States Hutch 2.0
United States NateHill 0.0

Consolation bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United States fuslie 0.5
Canada xQcOW 1.5
Canada xQcOW 1.0
United States ludwig 2.0
United States ludwig 2.0
Canada xChocoBars 0.0
United States ludwig 1.0
United States moistcr1tikal 2.0
United Kingdom ItsSlikeR 1.0
United States Swiftor 0.0
United Kingdom ItsSlikeR 1.0
United States moistcr1tikal 2.0
United States moistcr1tikal 2.0
United States erobb221 0.0

PogChamps 2[edit]

Group Stage[23]
Group A
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 Gripex90 3 2 3 8
2 forsen 0 3 3 6
3 Cizzorz 1 0 Does not appear 3 4
4 CallMeCarsonLIVE 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group B
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 itsHafu 3 3 3 9
2 DavidPakman 0 3 3 6
3 easywithaces 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 xQcOW 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group C
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 TFBlade 0 3 3 6
2 dogdog 3 1 2 6
3 TSM_ZexRow 0 2 Does not appear 3 5
4 QTCinderella 0 1 0 Does not appear 1
Group D
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 WagamamaTV 3 3 3 9
2 Hafthorjulius 0 3 3 6
3 ConnorEatsPants 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 AustinShow 0 0 0 Does not appear 0

Championship bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
Denmark Gripex90 2.0
United States DavidPakman 0.0
Denmark Gripex90 2.0
United States dogdog 1.0
Sweden WagamamaTV 1.0
United States dogdog 2.0
Denmark Gripex90 0.0
United States itsHafu 2.0
Iran TFBlade 2.0
Iceland Hafthorjulius 1.0
Iran TFBlade 0.0
United States itsHafu 2.0
United States itsHafu 2.0
Sweden forsen 0.0

Consolation bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United States Cizzorz 2.5
Canada xQcOW 1.5
United States Cizzorz 2.0
United States QTCinderella 0.0
United States ConnorEatsPants 1.0
United States QTCinderella 2.0
United States Cizzorz 0.0
Republic of Ireland easywithaces 2.0
United States TSM_ZexRow 2.0
United States AustinShow 0.0
United States TSM_ZexRow 0.5
Republic of Ireland easywithaces 1.5
Republic of Ireland easywithaces 2.0
United States CallMeCarsonLIVE 0.0

PogChamps 3[edit]

Group Stage[24]
Group A
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 benjyfishy 3 3 3 9
2 Sardoche 0 3 3 6
3 Neeko 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 Myth 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group B
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 xQcOW 3 3 3 9
2 dnegspoker 0 3 3 6
3 pokimane 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 Rubius 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group C
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 RainnWilson 2 3 2 7
2 logic 1 3 3 7
3 Tubbo 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 MichelleKhare 1 0 0 Does not appear 1
Group D
Player 1 2 3 4 Total
1 ludwig 2 3 3 8
2 moistcr1tikal 1 3 3 7
3 MrBeast6000 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 CodeMiko 0 0 0 Does not appear 0

Championship bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United Kingdom benjyfishy 2.0
Canada dnegspoker 1.0
United Kingdom benjyfishy 0.5
United States RainnWilson 1.5
United States RainnWilson 1.5
United States moistcr1tikal 0.5
United States RainnWilson 1.0
France Sardoche 2.0
United States ludwig 2.0
United States logic 1.0
United States ludwig 1.0
France Sardoche 2.0
Canada xQcOW 0.0
France Sardoche 2.0

Consolation bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United States Neeko 2.0
Spain Rubius 1.0
United States Neeko 2.0
United Kingdom Tubbo 1.0
United Kingdom Tubbo 2.0
United States CodeMiko 0.0
United States Neeko 2.0
United States MichelleKhare 0.0
United States MrBeast6000 0.0
United States MichelleKhare 2.0
United States MichelleKhare 2.0
Canada pokimane 0.0
Canada pokimane 2.0
United States Myth 0.0

PogChamps 4[edit]

Group Stage[25]
Group A
Player 1 2 3 4 Pts
1 5uppp 2 3 3 8
2 Ludwig 1 2 3 6
3 MrBeast 0 1 Does not appear 3 4
4 jakenbakeLIVE 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group B
Player 1 2 3 4 Pts
1 boxbox 3 3 3 9
2 Sapnap 0 3 3 6
3 JustaMinx 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 harrymackofficial 0 0 0 Does not appear 0
Group C
Player 1 2 3 4 Pts
1 Fundy 3 3 3 9
2 QTCinderella 0 3 2 5
3 Tectone 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 NickEh30 0 1 0 Does not appear 1
Group D
Player 1 2 3 4 Pts
1 crokeyz 3 3 3 9
2 IamCristinini 0 3 3 6
3 Rubius 0 0 Does not appear 3 3
4 Punz 0 0 0 Does not appear 0

Championship bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United States 5uppp 2.0
United States Sapnap 0.0
United States 5uppp 0.0
Netherlands Fundy 2.0
Spain IamCristinini 0.0
Netherlands Fundy 2.0
Netherlands Fundy 2.0
United Kingdom crokeyz 1.0
United States Ludwig 0.5
United States boxbox 1.5
United States boxbox 1.0
United Kingdom crokeyz 2.0
United Kingdom crokeyz 2.0
United States QTCinderella 0.0

Consolation bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
         
United States harrymackofficial 0.5
United States MrBeast 1.5
United States MrBeast 2.0
Canada Tectone 0.0
United States Punz 0.0*
Canada Tectone 2.0*
United States MrBeast 2.0
Spain Rubius 1.0
United States jakenbakeLIVE 2.0
Republic of Ireland JustaMinx 0.0
United States jakenbakeLIVE 0.5
Spain Rubius 1.5
Spain Rubius 2.0
Canada NickEh30 0.0

* Punz loss on forfeit. Win awarded to Tectone by default.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chess.com Launches PogChamps With Top Twitch Streamers". Chess.com. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b Murray, Trent (20 July 2020). "Chess.com Returns to Twitch With $50K PogChamps 2 Streamer Tournament". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Pogchamps: All The Information". Chess.com. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  4. ^ Scimia, Ed (21 June 2020). "Voyboy Wins Pogchamps Chess Championship, Artemiev Leads Chessable Masters". Online Gambling. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  5. ^ Patterson, Calum (19 August 2020). "How to watch Twitch PogChamps 2 chess tournament ft. xQc, Forsen, more". Dexerto. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Chess.com announces The Next Pogchamps". Chess.com. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Pogchamps 2: Twitch Chess Tournament Returns with New Players, Improved Format". Online Gambling. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  8. ^ Kane, Jeremy. "PogChamps Final: Hafu Is Champion". Chess.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  9. ^ "MrBeast, Pokimane, Rainn Wilson Headline PogChamps 3 Presented by Grip6". Chess.com. January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  10. ^ Dave (Dave). "Over $150,000 Raised For Charity As Sardoche Wins PogChamps 3". Chess.com. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  11. ^ "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: PogChamps 4 presented by @coinbase begins August 29th!!!". Twitter. July 6, 2021. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  12. ^ "PogChamps 4: All The Information". Chess.com. July 26, 2021. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Murray, Trent (23 July 2020). "How Chess.com is Taking Chess 'Off Its Pedestal' Through Twitch Streamer Engagement". The Esports Observer. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Is Pogchamps a good way to promote chess?". ChessTech. 13 June 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  15. ^ Ian Nepomniachtchi [@lachesiq] (21 February 2021). "With all respect towards @chesscom and amount of work they put into promoting chess, #PogChamps3 as a popcorn stuff is replacing and displacing any real chess content and this is just terrifying. #sad" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Magnus Carlsen [@MagnusCarlsen] (22 February 2021). "I do think the event is doing a great job in bringing chess to more people, I'd never stoop as low as to watch it myself though. If I did watch, I'd probably be rooting for Ludwig" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Anish Giri [@anishgiri] (22 February 2021). "Tell me you mean @LudwigAhgren and not @gmjlh and we are in a complete agreement for once. Right-facing fistLeft-facing fist #PogChamps3" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Ian Nepomniachtchi [@lachesiq] (22 February 2021). "Thanks for the dialogue and the passion everyone :) To clarify a little: 1. I'm obviously happy more and more people are getting involved into chess. 2. Although I'm not the biggest fan of #PogChamps, the show is easy&fun to watch. And indeed it serves the aformentioned purpose" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ a b Ian Nepomniachtchi [@lachesiq] (22 February 2021). "3. What are my concerns? Indisputable success of @chesscom #Pogchamps might set a new standard of a chess show, and I can't be sure it won't prevail over other formats. 4. And yes, I actually contributed there a little by a coaching session with @itshafu Smiling face with open mouth Peace for everyone!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ "Chess Twitter Is Something Else" on YouTube
  21. ^ "Chess.com on Twitch". Twitch. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  22. ^ "VoyBoy, MoistCr1tikal Win Chess.com PogChamps Finals". Chess.com. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  23. ^ "Pogchamps". Pogchamps. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  24. ^ "PogChamps 3". Pogchamps. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  25. ^ "PogChamps 4". Chess.com. Retrieved 27 August 2021.

Further reading[edit]