Chess Grandmaster suspended by Twitch for streaming Dr Disrespect playing chess

Dr Disrespect
(Image credit: Dr Disrespect (YouTube))

Around a fortnight ago we reported that Guy Beahm, better known as popular livestreamer Dr Disrespect, had settled his long-running dispute with Twitch. He was permanently suspended for reasons unknown in June 2020, before launching legal action over the ban; sadly the resolution gave no insight into why it was imposed.

"I have resolved my legal dispute with Twitch," Dr Disrespect said in a message posted to Twitter. "No party admits to any wrongdoing."

"Moving on" was clearly doing a lot of heavy lifting there, and for both sides, because now Twitch has suspended Chess Grandmaster and five-time US champion Hikaru Nakamura for watching Dr Disrespect play chess. On March 16 Nakamura streamed himself, on Twitch, watching Dr Disrespect play against another streamer, Dr Lupo.

At the time, Nakamura's viewers immediately warned him about the possibility of suspension. Despite the settlement Dr Disrespect remains banned from Twitch and, per the site's community guidelines, is also unable to stream with others on Twitch.

"Chill out you guys, you think I care" Nakamura said at the time, "this is chess."

It may have been chess but it was also a pretty clear-cut violation of Twitch policy. Nakamura may have genuinely believed the fact it was the game of kings made it all fine, but he's also probably the most popular chess streamer out there and someone with a mischievous streak. He likes to poke the bear.

And in this case, he got a little swipe back:

It is slightly wild that a Chess Grandmaster has been suspended by Twitch for streaming Dr Disrespect playing chess, but this is the world we live in and, from the streaming platform's point-of-view, it's as straightforward a case as there is. Nakamura's own profile is probably even a help with this: Twitch wants streamers to know not to mess around and try and get Dr Disrespect on-stream in cute ways, or their own status will be under threat.

Nakamura makes a habit of doing more accessible chess videos than your typical chess streamer, and during the stream offers up rather over-kind words on Dr Disrespect's game. Turns out, the most ruthless competitor in videogame history is terrible at chess.

Chess GM Hikaru Nakamura.

(Image credit: Joel Saget via Getty)

We still have no idea what caused Dr Disrespect's ban, and possibly never will. The mega-popular streamer will not be returning to the platform—and clearly won't even be allowed near it. The conclusion to this saga, if it indeed is over, could only be called anti-climactic.

Dr Disrespect is doing just fine over on YouTube of course, where he has 3.82 million subs, and has his own game development studio: Midnight Society. Sadly the main product is selling NFT beta access to a game that doesn't exist yet.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."