As a global pandemic continues to determine a new normal, tens of thousands of viewers have been tuning in to watch people play chess on a live-streaming website called Twitch.tv. An American chess grandmaster, Hikaru Nakamura, along with a number of celebrities of the video game world, is leading a renaissance in the ancient game.
While viewers eagerly wait for Nakamura’s streams to begin, they are treated to a slideshow of memes involving Nakamura’s face superimposed into scenes from pop culture. First a reference to a well-known Japanese animation, next a famous upside-down kiss with Spiderman, and finally, Nakamura’s characteristic grin is edited onto the Mona Lisa herself.
From August 21 to September 6, Twitch and Chess.com are hosting a tournament, called Pogchamps, where some of the most popular gaming streamers in the world compete in a chess tournament with $50,000 on the line.