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TSM sign chess Grandmaster and streamer Hikaru Nakamura

Chess has been one of the most popular games on Twitch, and now one of its stars - Hikaru - has gone a step further signing for Team SoloMid.
Team SoloMid (TSM) has signed five-time United States chess champion, and Chess Olympiad gold medal winner, Hikaru Nakamura to their roster making him the first chess player to sign to a major esport organisation.

Hikaru, who holds the record as the youngest American to reach Grandmaster at 15 years old and 79, has exploded in popularity in the past year as Chess has become one of the most popular categories on Twitch.

Hikaru now boasts over 500k followers on Twitch with his streams regularly bringing in over 12k viewers.

His popularity has been boosted by working with other popular streamers most notably former Overwatch pro Félix "xQc" Lengyel, whose love for the game of chess has also helped widen the game to a bigger audience.

GM Hikaru TSM

(Picture: TSM)

Chess may not be the most obvious choice for streaming, but the ability for players to interact more readily with audiences and the mode they play, "blitz" or fast chess where players have only a short time to complete moves, keeps the games fast.

It's in this space that Hiraku has excelled, currently, the No.1 ranked player in the world according to the International Chess Federation, his personable attitude and willing to field questions about the game have grown his audience to previously unseen heights.

It's this new audience that TSM hope they're signing will hap them tap into and Hikaru's signing could be the start of a new chapter in esports representation.