EXCLUSIVE: “We’ve entered a new era of collaboration”, Ludwig and Mogul team open up on the challenges they faced while preparing for Mogul Chessboxing Championship
Image Credits: The Washington Post
After bagging the Content Creator of the Year award at, ‘The Game Awards’, Ludwig Ahgren is gearing up to host the Mogul Chessboxing Championship. Combining Chess and Boxing for influencers was certainly a challenging idea, but Ludwig and his team cleared all the hurdles and worked efficiently to bring an event that would prove to be a treat for the eyes.
While Ludwig comes with first-hand experience in hosting events, the Mogul Chessboxing Championship will feature one of his first large-scale events that is presented to a live audience in Los Angeles. Several notable names in the content creator’s industry such as Disguised Toast, Myth and others are going to be a part of this event as they face each other on December 11th at 4 PM PT (Pacific Time).
FirstSportz reached out to Ludwig and members of the Mogul Mail team to seek information on aspects that are often overlooked, such as the challenges they faced while hosting the event and the match they are most excited about.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview with Ludwig and the Mogul team
Q. How was the process of preparing for the event?
Ans. We’ve entered a new era of collaboration with platforms like Twitch and Youtube, where creators came together to produce premium live content events. In this new meta live streaming, it was our goal to really spearhead this style of polished content with events that are really unique.
For the Chessboxing Championship, one of the biggest challenges we faced was choosing matchups that would be the most compelling for the audience. We needed people who not only had the athletic capability to perform in the ring, but also a sound sense of strategy or background in chess to make sure that the chess component of the event was legitimate.
On top of that, we needed to then pair people who had similar skill levels in chess, amateur boxing, and weight class all while ensuring they had the time to properly commit to their training for the event… and of course make sure they were comfortable with (potentially) being punched in the face.
Once we locked that in, it was a matter of finding the right venue to bring our vision to life, and develop a dynamic in-person atmosphere that would also resonate with our virtual viewer.
Q. In an age where influencers are stepping into boxing, what made you choose Chessboxing?
Ans. Unlike what we’ve seen in recent “celebrity boxing” bouts, Chessboxing is a spectacle with an added complexity because there are two planes that you are competing on: Chess AND Boxing.
Ludwig, who has successfully navigated the “gaming adjacent” space, always looks for creative ways of combining the passions of gamesmanship, sport, and lifestyle together — so that made the concept of Chessboxing feel very “on brand” for him. Staying true to his passion points, Chessboxing was the perfect event that offered that spin on one of Ludwig’s interests –chess — but left enough room for him and the team to be creative and offer viewers a totally unique experience.
Q. Do you think the sport will be a game changer among the influencer community?
Ans. While we don’t think influencers will necessarily line up to get hit on a consistent basis, we’re confident that the event is unique and enjoyable enough for everyone that it helps push the sport a bit more into the limelight. Maybe, it’ll inspire other creators to host similar tournaments of their own!
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Q. Which bouts on the card excite you the most?
Ans. Honestly, they are all going to be great. Since there aren’t any existing track records behind the fights, it’s less of a “will there be an upset?” and more of an “anything can happen” energy going into each matchup.
Q. While you have managed to set up an eventful card, who do you think wins the main event between Aman Hambleton and Lawrence Trent?
Ans. WE can’t pick favorites… but here’s the updated match up list:
Super Smash Matchups
- 2Saint vs Spud
- Fiction vs Kalindi
- Chess Matchups
- Stanz vs BoxBox
- Abroad in Japan vs OverTFlow
- Hugs vs Toph
- Disguised Toast vs Pointcrow
- KNVB vs Trent
- Andrea vs Dina
- Myth vs Cherdleys
Ring Host: Ludwig and Jerma
Commentators: Matt Thomas, Gotham Chess, Slime, Phil
Q. Despite the event being Chessboxing, if separated, which is your favorite sport, Chess or Boxing?
Ans. This event was brought to life through Ludwig’s passion for chess, so while boxing is definitely an entertaining piece of it, we think most of the team would say chess.
Q. Chess boxing has existed since the early 1990s, however, it has not gained the attention as other sports have. Do you think your event will be able to bring that change?
Ans. Chessboxing is extremely niche, so while I do think our event could definitely add some popularity to this fun, (at times ridiculous) sport, we can’t promise it’ll ever be mainstream like other fringe sports. What I can say, however, is that both Chess and Boxing have seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years and that’s always a plus.
On top of that, chessboxing (and Smash Bros. in between), offer multiple axes of competition, adding an X factor as you’ll never
know how someone is going to get their win. There can be multiple approaches to training for success as a person could lean into whatever they believe they are stronger in, allowing for a fun scrappiness in the matches and a level of unpredictability that can’t help but be entertaining.
Q. What are the safety precautions the team has been taking for creators?
Ans. Each of the creators who are participating are responsible for their individual strategy and approach as to how they train for their match. Some are sharpening their chess skills looking to over index on that component, while training physically to have a baseline proficiency in the ring. Others are going all-in on boxing skill training, taking a more physical approach.
As organizers, we have also focused our efforts on being meticulous with setting up the necessary logistics for the event (including securing legitimate judges and referees) and for the matches, making sure they are as evenly balanced as possible in terms of weight class and physical prowess. In terms of public health, we are fully complying with LA County Covid protocols.