Michael Brancato Leaves Twitch

Former Twitch Vice President of Esports Michael Brancato has joined Chess.com as Vice President of Esports.

Brancato spent over five years at Twitch, where he held positions such as Senior Esports Product Manager and League Operations Lead, before joining the online chess platform. Brancato was also a competitive Super Smash Bros player under the alias Nintendude.

Chess has been adopted by many esports organizations as a result of its growing popularity in recent years, as evidenced by TSM signing Hikaru Nakamura. The FIDE World Championship 2021 had a peak viewership of 613,439 across various streaming platforms, according to Esports Charts.

Brancato discussed his new position on LinkedIn. Chess’ popularity in the esports scene soared to such heights last year that debates erupted over whether the game should even be classified as an esport. Last year’s ESI Digital Spring featured a panel on the topic, with TSM, Envy Gaming, Play Magnus Group, and Chess.com on the panel.

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