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Tyler1 hits new chess ELO record, but how good is he really?

Is Tyler1 the best chess player in streaming? Not quite, but his new ELO record has fans wondering how far he might go in the game if he sticks to it.

Tyler “Tyler 1” Steinkamp typically makes the news for his wild antics on stream. His over-the-top reactions have made him viral many times over. However, people often forget that beneath all the shouting and flailing, Tyler1 is a legitimately skill gamer, especially in the MOBA that made him famous, League of Legends.

In February 2022, Tyler1 became the first person to livestream hitting Challenger in all five League of Legends roles. If nothing else, Tyler1’s dedication to a goal makes any challenge seem achievable. Recently, Tyler1 set his sights on another strategy game: the old game of Chess. And the results have already been impressive.

What is Tyler1’s ELO ranking in Chess?

Tyler1 obtained an ELO ranking of 1700 in rapid chess on March 2024 after 13 consecutive hours of play. For those unfamiliar, rapid chess has the same rules as classical chess, but players don’t have as much time to make their moves.

Classical chess games can span hours, with games at the highest level spanning half a day or more. Rapid chess adds a much shorter time limit, forcing players to make moves quickly to save their time.

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In this format, Tyler1 achieved an ELO ranking of 1700. That ELO ranking puts Tyler1 well above most of the player base of chess.com, where he now sits around the highest percentiles of players. Some fans have even started pondering if Tyler1’s skill at chess could reach the highest levels of the game. 

Can Tyler1 become a Chess Grandmaster?

Tyler1’s chances of becoming a Chess Grandmaster are practically zero. Although fans have started joking about Tyler1’s potential as a chess grandmaster, actual players who’ve achieved the role are far more realistic. Notable chess streamer and current GM Hikaru Nakamura has stated that Tyler1 would likely stop around an ELO ranking of 1600, and the League of Legends streamer has now broken that barrier.

Tyler1 had already gotten close to breaking through the 1700 ceiling before going on a 13-game losing streak, showing that while he may never hit grandmaster, he could overcome the limits many have predicted for him.

It’s important to understand that every modern chess GM started playing chess as children. Hikaru Nakamura started playing chess when he was just 8 years old. Children absorb chess knowledge far more quickly than adults, and there’s a steep decline in a player’s ability to so sharply improve at the game as they age. Given Tyler1’s history of stubbornly brute-forcing games on stream, his chess shenanigans may well continue beyond 2024. Just don’t expect him to be knocking on Magnus Carlsen’s door anytime soon. 

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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