Mastercard signs Magnus Carlsen, reveals huge Esports deal for chess fans


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Mastercard has expanded its engagement in the esports world by announcing its latest global sports brand ambassador: Magnus Carlsen, the highest rated chess grandmaster in history and highest paid esports player in 2020 .

Carlsen, the world champion in classic, blitz and fast chess, looks almost certain to continue his online streak in 2021. He currently leads the leaderboard of the inaugural Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, which offers a grand prize of $ 300,000. . As of today, the contest is now also sponsored by Mastercard.

Thanks to its latest esports agreements with Carlsen and the Champions Chess Tour, Mastercard has organized many experiences through its Priceless cardholder offer. The main one is the Chess Insights experience of world chess champion Magnus Carlsen: Mastercard owners will be able to join Carlsen for a live virtual event, where he will talk about his passion for chess and answer questions from the live audience.

These latest partnerships bear witness to Mastercard’s growing investment in esports. In 2018, she became the first global sponsor of League of Legends” competitive activities within the framework of a multi-year partnership with Riot Games; the company has expanded its activities to League‘s Championship Series (LCS) the following year, before making a deal with G2 Esports soon after.

Thanks to the resurgent popularity of chess among fans and esports, over 27 million hours of the Champions Chess Tour have been watched online so far, more than all the hours of chess viewed on Twitch in 2019, even. if the Tour finals have not yet been completed. to start.

When the coveted competition concludes between September 25 and October 4, Carlsen will be one of ten grandmasters vying for the ultimate prize, against other virtuosos like Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So and Levon Aronian.

Carlsen said: “Expanding the influence of chess has always been close to my heart. Having Mastercard, which brings people and their passions together in a meaningful way, partnering with the Tour is very exciting. I am proud to join Mastercard to introduce this sport to millions of fans around the world.

Raja Rajamannar, Director of Marketing and Communications at Mastercard, continued: “Teaming up with Magnus – widely regarded as the best chess player of all time – and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour underscores our enthusiastic commitment to providing holders of card of invaluable experiences that celebrate the and mental sport of chess.

“We’re excited to bring the global chess base closer to the game they love and to engage with new enthusiasts.”

Andreas Thome, CEO of Play Magnus Group, Carlsen’s online learning and entertainment group, added: Global chess community.

By becoming a global brand ambassador, Carlsen joins the ranks of other Mastercard partners such as quadruple Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, football legends Lionel Messi and Crystal Dunn, and ten-time LPGA champion Annika Sörenstam.

This is not the first time that a chess champion has become the face of the game’s esports evolution. In May, Garry Kasparov announced the launch of Kasparovchess, continuing the decades-long commitment of the great Russian master towards online chess.

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