Australia-based VADR Media has announced that its Web3 esports-first chess tournament and broadcast platform Checkmate.live has partnered with the Arab Esports Federation (ARESF).
The partnership will see Checkmate become the Federation’s official online chess platform, as well as its data and broadcast partner.
The deal allows ARESF to broadcast regular online esports chess events and will grant it access to Checkmate’s AI anti-cheat and integrity programme.
Checkmate.live describes itself as an esports-first competitive chess media company focused on producing and broadcasting online tournaments. The company’s Web3 platform looks to provide opportunities to compete for cash, credits and in-game assets.
The platform is also part of the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) and seeks to ensure fair play in online competitive chess using its anti-cheat software.
The Arab Esports Federation, headed by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, is a governing body for esports in the Arab region and counts 18 national esports associations as members.
The strategic partnership comes after Checkmate signed a similar partnership with the Asian Chess Federation in August.
Checkmate, which recently opened an office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is looking to expand its reach across Asia and the Middle East via the deals, VADR Media Managing Director John McRae told Esports Insider.
Chess is seeing increasing crossover into esports as more chess tournaments are played online. The game exploded in popularity on Twitch last year after prominent content creators jumped on the trend of online chess competition.
In February this year, Chess.com appointed a Vice President of Esports and gaming chair company Secretlab sponsored an online tournament by Play Magnus Group. In March, Play Magnus Group partnered with mobile esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) to launch an online tournament series.
ARESF Secretary General Hisham Al Taher commented: “The Arab Esports Federation is delighted to partner with Checkmate and whole heartily supports their vision of improving the integrity of the online game and promoting it as both an esport and sport.
“Online chess is not a sports simulation; it’s a natural extension of the over-the-board game. A game that brings with it many positive benefits, including higher female participation than esports, cognitive and mental improvements for players, good sportsmanship and brand safety for stakeholders.”