PogChamps is a series of online chess tournaments organised by Chess.com, which began during COVID-19 in 2020. It’s similar to Twitch Rivals, as it welcomes internet personalities and Twitch streamers, so it’s more of an event intended for entertainment rather than a proper chess tournament.
Regardless of it not being viewed as a serious event, it is possible to bet on PogChamps as long as you find a bookmaker who offers PogChamps betting markets. Unfortunately, only a few bookmakers will offer PogChamps betting markets.
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What Is PogChamps?
Founded in 2020 by the prominent internet chess server, news, and social networking website, Chess.com, PogChamps is an online chess tournament featuring popular Twitch streamers and internet personalities.
Besides welcoming famous people from the internet, PogChamps also regularly features various professional chess players, including Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, Daniel Naroditsky, and Qiyu Zhou, who serve as coaches and commentators.
The tournament was never intended to be more than an amateur event made solely for entertainment purposes, and it hasn’t moved away from that idea since.
Since its inception, there have been five iterations of PogChamps, two in 2020, two in 2021, and one in 2023, each welcoming a diverse group of personalities and Twitch streamers, including retired esports players such as Joedat “Voyboy” Esfahani, Félix “xQc” Lengyel, and Ali “Myth” Kabbani.
In some ways, PogChamps is similar to Twitch Rivals, as a tournament intended to entertain Twitch viewers by inviting popular streamers to the event. However, unlike Twitch Rivals, PogChamps is exclusively a chess tournament.
The tournament uses a simple format, seeding the 16 participating players into four groups of four based on their Chess.com rating and total games played. The groups are played in a double round-robin (PogChamps 1 was a single round-robin) format, with the top two players from each group advancing to the Championship bracket.
Meanwhile, the bottom two players proceed to the Consolation bracket.
The Championship and Consolation brackets use a single-elimination format to determine the champion and the consolation champion. While the format has changed since the PogChamps, it has remained the same for the final three – with no confirmation on whether the tournament format will change for the upcoming events.
Past PogChamps Winners
Since 2020, Chess.com has hosted five PogChamp events, welcoming several different internet personalities and crowned five champions.
PogChamps 2020 #1
- 1st – Voyboy
- Runner-up – Hutch
PogChamps 2020 #2
- 1st – itsHafu
- Runner-up – Gripex90
PogChamps 2021 #1
- 1st – Sardoche
- Runner-up – RainnWilson
PogChamps 2021 #2
- 1st – Fundy
- Runner-up – crokeyz
PogChamps 2023 #1
- 1st – CDawgVA
- Runner-up – Franks-is-heres
PogChamps Schedule & Upcoming Events
PogChamps has to date hosted only five events – two in 2020, two in 2021, and one in 2023 – but there were no events in 2022. It’s unclear whether Chess.com intends to host another PogChamps in 2023, but there are likely going to be more events in either late 2023 or 2024.
Can I Bet On PogChamps?
PogChamps betting is a thing, but not as easily accessible. Much like Twitch Rivals, which is more of a for-fun event welcoming popular Twitch streamers and other big internet personalities, PogChamps isn’t a serious tournament, which explains why it’s not easy to find PogChamps betting markets.
Nevertheless, you might be able to find PogChamps betting opportunities on some soft sportsbooks, namely bet365, which has had PogChamps betting markets available before. As for sharp bookmakers, betting brokers, and betting exchanges (Betfair, Matchbook, Smarkets) – very unlikely.
What is PogChamps?
PogChamps is a series of online chess tournaments hosted by Chess.com. It welcomes popular internet personalities, Twitch streamers, and professional chess players who act as coaches and commentators.
Can you bet on PogChamps?
Yes, you can bet on PogChamps. Some sportsbooks, such as bet365, will occasionally have PogChamps betting markets available, but not all will, so don’t expect betting on PogChamps to be the norm.
When Is the next PogChamps?
Although there are no confirmed dates or specific details, Chess.com will likely host another PogChamps in either late 2023 or 2024.
Who are the past winners of PogChamps?
Since its inception in 2020, there have been five PogChamps tournaments, each producing a different winner.
The first PogChamps belonged to the former League of Legends pro player Voyboy while the second event was won by retired professional World of Warcraft player itsHafu.
In 2021 the two PogChamps events were won by two streamers/YouTubers, Sardoche and Fundy, while the most recent, PogChamps 5, was won by CDawgVA, who beat Fanks-is-heres in the grand final.
PogChamps is just one of many amateur entertainment tournaments organised by Chess.com, which also hosts other similar events, including BlitzChamps – a charity chess tournament for NFL players.