Press Release

Immortal Game raises USD 15.5 million to build a next generation, online Chess experience Supported by 50 Grand Masters and advised by Queen’s Gambit producer

●         Grand Masters from India include Arjun Erigaisi, Vidit Gujrathi, Harikrishna, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin amongst others

●        Immortal Game leverages blockchain technology to create a unique game for the global chess community


Immortal Game, a company launching a web3 chess platform and marketplace, announces the successful raise of its USD 12 million Series A round.  Led by TCG crypto, the round includes several other leading tech and entertainment VC specialists – Cassius, Greenfield One, Sparkle Ventures (supported by the Sandbox Founders and Animoca Brands) Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V, Blockwall, Kraken Ventures, and Spice Capital. 


Immortal Game was founded in March 2021 led by serial entrepreneurs Thomas Zaepffel, David Cingala and Geoffroy Mestrallet each with track records of building successful ventures.  The company had previously raised USD 3.5 million in seed funding earlier in the year with a round co-led by Cassius and Greenfield One that was also backed by GFC, Kraken Ventures, Moonfire, Kima Ventures, Blockwall and BlackPool DAO.


Immortal Game will use the funding to accelerate the momentum of its product as well as expand into key markets including India, US and Europe. In fact, India is by far the most crucial market as it gets around 1/4th of the total traffic globally. Hiring is on full spree in India and the Grand Masters from India who are supporting Immortal Game include Arjun Erigaisi, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Harikrishna, Srinath Narayanan, Harika Dronavilli, Adhiban Baskaran, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin and Surya Shekhar Ganguly.

Commenting on his association with Immortal Game, Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujrathi said, “I’ve always wanted to contribute towards the growth of the Chess community. It is great to see that Chess is now not only a recreational sport but people are planning to pursue it as a career. I feel privileged to be associated with Immortal Game. They’ve come up with a unique project with the idea of involving top Chess players and giving them a real feel of an online event. I am eagerly looking forward to this association and look forward to work closely with the IGE team, ambassadors and especially the community.”


“Being an ambassador for Immortal Game allows me to serve as an inspiration to a great community of young players, which I like to see as the future of chess”, said Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, Chess Grandmaster and youngest International Master in history. “Their focus on young players from all over the world is meant to uplift a new generation of upcoming Grandmasters, the ones who grew up playing chess online, who feel as much at ease behind a keyboard as behind a real-life chessboard. I am proud to represent this generation in such an ambitious and innovative project.”


With 800 million players worldwide, chess has never been more popular. New technology platforms have introduced the game to an entirely new generation and secured its place in pop culture from Netflix’s “Queen’s Gambit” to the growth of chess influencers on streaming platforms.  Scott Frank, the Queen’s Gambit producer, is an adviser to Immortal Game.


Powered by blockchain, Immortal Game is being created in collaboration with, and for, the dedicated chess community. It aims to elevate the gaming experience for online chess players around the world, who currently play over 20 million games daily, by leveraging web3 and next generation digital assets.


Thomas Zaepffel, CEO at Immortal Game commented: “An inflection point in the adoption of blockchain technology for consumer gaming has been reached. Chess is a centuries old game that benefits from this technology, preserving its heritage while attracting a new group of players. We are excited for the support of 50 Grand Masters as we continue to broaden the reach of this incredible game.”


Players can participate in live games, league tournaments and a robust set of learning tools and products. The 50 Grand Masters who serve as Immortal Game ambassadors will also be involved and regularly accessible on the platform. These GMs include World Blitz Champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and India’s youngest GM in history Pragganandhaa Rameshbabu. Players also have the option to monetize their time, participation in the game and skill development through a state-of-the-art Play&Earn* platform, NFTs with chess utilities and distinct playing styles, and a marketplace with live auctions and instant buy.


In addition to the founding team, it already has a strong team of experts in chess, tech and web3. Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder and COO at the Sandbox, Brian O’Hagan, Head of Growth at Sorare and Julien Bouteloup, a renowned tech entrepreneur and investor all advise the company.  Immortal Game has partnered with Immutable X, a layer 2 gaming protocol, to bring their game onto the world’s leading public blockchain, Ethereum.**


“Immortal Game is at the cutting-edge of games and blockchain technology,” said Jesse Jacobs, Co-Founder and Partner, TCG. “The team is world-class, the product is excellent and the vision is inspiring.  We’re excited to partner with Thomas, David and Geoffroy as they expand the gaming experience for passionate communities in new and exciting ways.



About Immortal Game

Immortal Game has created a next generation chess platform built by and for the global chess community.  It is the first web3 online chess game that is powered by blockchain and will provide players with live games, league tournaments and an online education platform that will allow them to interact with Grand Masters.  By utilising NFTs it will enable players to monetize their time, skill development and participation, (players that choose not to participate in this aspect of the game will enjoy exactly the same gameplay experience.) The game was launched in March 2021 and already has the support of 50 Grand Masters.


About TCG

Founded by Peter Chernin, Jesse Jacobs, and Mike Kerns, The Chernin Group (TCG) is a multi-stage investment firm dedicated to building consumer businesses. With a focus on majority and significant minority investments in growing consumer businesses, the TCG team has a track record of working with world-class consumer brands in digital media, commerce, marketplaces, sports, gaming, consumer finance, consumer blockchain and health and wellness brands and platforms. The TCG portfolio includes Action Network, Barstool Sports, Dapper Labs, Exploding Kittens, Food52,  Funko, Headspace, Hodinkee, MeatEater, The Pro’s Closet, and Zed Run and more. For more information and TCG’s full portfolio visit


About TCG Crypto

TCG Crypto is an early-stage fund investing at the intersection of consumer and crypto. The TCG Crypto portfolio includes Rabbithole, Hume, Flamingo DAO, Arkive, Medallion, Altered State Machine, Draup, Tribute Brand and more.


*About Play&Earn

Immortal Game’s proprietary, blockchain-enabled Play&Earn technology adds optional features and challenges to the game through an NFT rewards platform that allows players to monetize their time, skill development and participation.  Players have access to a marketplace to buy and sell creative and strategic NFTs of chess pieces and boards, through direct sales and auctions. Over $1.5M in NFT chess pieces, designed by Immortal Game’s in-house studios, have been sold to specialist Guilds.  Players that choose not to participate in the Play&Earn feature will enjoy exactly the same gameplay experience. 


**About Immutable X

Immutable X, in partnership with Starkware, is the leading Layer 2 Ethereum-scaling solution offering innovators and builders incredible speed, security and liquidity across digital worlds. Immutable X has become the platform of choice for world-class web3 games such as Guild of Guardians, Gods Unchained, Illuvium, Embersword, Planet Quest and many more.


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