FURIA Enters Chess With Brazilian Grandmaster Krikor Mekhitarian
After announcing a poker lineup and stating that more unconventional teams for esports organizations are to come, FURIA announced its newest step in that direction, signing the Brazilian Chess Grandmaster Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian as an athlete. FURIA’s CEO Jaime Pádua spoke to The Esports Observer about the new move by the organization.
“It puts together all the things we like: competitions, FURIA, mental sports, Twitch, the hype of chess,“ said Pádua, who said that Mekhitarian will have the FURIA structure at his disposal for training and support as he seeks to compete against the best players in the world.
Mekhitarian will be streaming on Twitch under FURIA’s banner, and for in-person chess tournaments, it is not determined but it is expected that he will wear the FURIA jersey if the event allows. All current sponsorships to FURIA as an organization will also be applied to the chess roster. Expanding the roster and developing new talents is also part of the company’s plan.
Pádua also said that the recent success of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit did not influence the decision of entering chess but rather anticipated the announcement, seeking to surf the wave raised by the show: “Krikor was already hired but not announced yet. When we saw the hype the show was having, we said ‘Oh, we need to hurry with that because there won’t be a better timing.’”
Mekhitarian currently holds an International Chess Federation (FIDE) rating of 2554 on Standard, making him the third best-rated player in Brazil. He is a two-time Brazilian chess champion and integrated the national Olympic team for four opportunities.
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