As chess has grown in popularity in the streaming space in recent years, several of the classic game's most highly-regarded talents have made a name for themselves in the online community. Few talents in the chess community have become more known among streamers than Hikaru Nakamura, also known as GMHikaru. GMHikaru has been a constant presence in the chess community since his Twitch debut in 2018 and has been sponsored by popular chess platforms and even signed with a major esports organization. Now, the prolific chess streamer has received his first ban, and it's tied to another major suspension.
Among the high-profile streamers who have been hit with bans by Twitch, the publicized split between Twitch and Dr Disrespect has been one of the most talked about events in the platform's history. Following his shocking permanent ban from the platform, Dr Disrespect not only began streaming on YouTube after signing a deal with Twitch's biggest rival, but also became embroiled with a several-months-long legal battle with Twitch. However, despite both Dr Disrespect and Twitch announcing an end to the dispute earlier this month, the popular streamer's ban still holds, and now GMHikaru has been hit with a ban of his own.
GMHikaru's ban comes less than a week after a stream which saw the chess grandmaster watching a chess match featuring Dr Disrespect on stream with the popular streaming playing against fellow YouTuber DrLupo. Many viewers in Hikaru's stream commented on the possibility of a ban based on Dr Disrespect's position with Twitch, but Hikaru shrugged off these concerns given the previously announced resolution of the two parties' legal dispute. Hikaru's ban is his first offense since joining the platform, so the suspension will be limited to Twitch's standard three-day sentence.
While Hikaru's response on Twitter expressed disappointment with the platform following his three-day ban, Twitch's policy on streamers clearly lays out its stance on banned creators. Twitch's policy states that streams can not "knowingly feature or advertise" talents who are banned on the platform, making an exception for circumstances beyond the streamer's control. GMHikaru's featuring of Dr Disrespect's chess match directly conflicts these guidelines for "removing banned streamers from broadcasts," therein inciting the ban from Twitch.
While Dr Disrespect's ban from Twitch left both the streamer and his legions of fans stunned, the streamer has continued to grow his own brand even amidst his ongoing legal battle. Dr Disrespect announced late last year his intentions to found a AAA game studio called Midnight Society, as well as headlining a growing roster of streamers leaving Twitch for YouTube in recent years. While the massive content creator has built his own brand following his departure from Twitch, his ban on the platform still remains and GMHikaru will have a few days off from streaming because of it.