Screengrab via [YouTube.com/MogulMail](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm0U0P7C0zU)

‘Biggest failure of my career’: Ludwig explains why Chessboxing isn’t happening in 2023

He worked for nine months on the event, but it's gone down the drain.

Ludwig has confirmed the next iteration of Mogul Chessboxing that was planned for this fall has been canceled, labeling the project as the “biggest failure of [his] career.”

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In a livestream on Sept. 27, the 28-year-old said the event wouldn’t happen despite being “very deep” into the next event’s organization process.

He explained that the cancellation happened because of the inability to get the event sanctioned by a federally-run athletics commission. Both USA Boxing and the Nevada State Athletics Commission eventually decided not to sanction Mogul Chessboxing, leaving Ludwig and his team unable to progress with the event.

If the chessboxing event was to happen without being sanctioned, Ludwig would risk going to jail, as the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 requires amateur sports events to be sanctioned by such an organization.

Screenshot showing Ludwig commenting his tentative lineup for Chessboxing 2024
The lineup was almost ready. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The catalyst for this issue was changing the location of the event for its second iteration. Ludwig explained he wanted to do something different and bigger for this year, that’s why the staff had booked the Orleans Arena venue in Las Vegas, the city known as the “fight capital of the world.” A Ticketmaster page was even ready to launch on Oct. 3. “We were very deep into this process,” he said.

In Nevada, they didn’t manage to get sanctioned, despite having a connection to a member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. This wouldn’t have been an issue if they had hosted the event in the same venue as last year, the Galen Center in Los Angeles, which had oversight from a sanctioned body.

The mixed nature of the chessboxing event is the biggest hurdle for the event, as USA Boxing don’t consider it to be Olympic boxing, while the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who regularly sanction UFC events in Sin City, didn’t feel it was a true fighting event. In the end, neither group felt that Mogul Chessboxing fell under their jurisdiction.

Ludwig said that two months before the event was supposed to happen, they were asked to change the event to a kickboxing and chess event for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to sanction it. In the end, it was too close to the deadline, and with competitors already training for boxing, the possibility of changing the discipline was unrealistic.

Ludwig said the team didn’t want to take any risks for this iteration after its strong success in 2022, so they eventually had to drop the event as they were unable to find a solution that would satisfy the Commission.

Although this was a hard blow to Ludwig and the team that worked on the event, he isn’t discouraged and has big plans for next year. “I have the motivation to do the best f*cking shows I can do in 2024,” he said at the end of the livestream.


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Author
Eva Martinello
Eva is a Staff Writer from Paris. Her part-time job is charging into walls with Reinhardt. She has been covering League of Legends esports and other titles for six years. She still believes in a Moscow Five comeback. She also fell into the MMO pit and covers FFXIV and Genshin.