Kings World Cup: ceremony, twists and turns and faulty microphone… we watched the 1st match

After weeks of promotion and preparation, it was time for the big departure. This Sunday, it’s 11 a.m. in Mexico when the Twitch channels affiliated with the Kings League, a 7-on-7 football competition created by former FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, get underway: the first edition of the Kings World Cup will be able to start.

As an opening ceremony, in a room set up for the occasion, an introductory word from the president of the competition Zlatan Ibrahimovic, broadcast on a giant screen: “The Kings World Cup begins here. » On the field, dozens of people run to wave flags bearing the effigy of the thirty-two teams from all over the world, including the French from “Foot2rue” led by Amine. ” Let the games begin ! », then says the Z.

Mystery map and progressive player entry

First poster: the reigning champions of the Spanish Kings League, Saiyans FC, chaired by the influencer TheGrefG, meet the German team Youniors FC, led by a tandem composed of the influencer Younes and the 2014 world champion Mario Götze. From the first seconds, the particularities of this format are obvious: the two coaches each draw a mystery card, containing a secret power to use at any time in the match, then the match begins… 2 against 2, a goalkeeper and a field player. A player will join each team every minute until it is 7 against 7.

On the field, fans of Spanish, German or Belgian football will have recognized familiar faces. From Martin Mantovani, Argentine defender who played in La Liga, to Ashkan Dejagah, Iranian football legend who played in the Premier League and the Bundesliga, via Julien Vercauteren, former Belgian footballer who also played for OGC Nice.

The match is broadcast simultaneously on the Twitch channels of the Kings League and the influencers involved in the event. On the main channel, which broadcasts in Spanish, there are several tens of thousands of viewers. On the French channel, a little less: around 350 on average, where the chat is shared between bots which remind us of the rules of the game and spectators who complain throughout the broadcast that the commentator’s microphone, too sensitive, makes hearing his every breath a little too loudly. And actually, it’s quite unpleasant…

A conservative style of play shaken up by the special rules

On the pitch, after the madness of the first minutes, the game normalized. No goals are scored in the first period, and we witness a spectacle that is certainly very well produced and dressed, with this black and gray pitch surrounded by giant screens and lights, with the cameras and microphones with which the referees are equipped, but which also and above all resembles traditional football, even a little conservative: we rotate, we play defensively, we attack little (only 12 shots on target over the two 20-minute periods), we complain about the referee and we even confuses a little on a hot situation.

The match heats up at the end, when the rules that are the spice of this Kings World Cup finally take center stage. During the last ten minutes of the match, the Spanish Saiyans team received a yellow card, synonymous with a two-minute suspension, and the German team trailing then decided to draw their secret card which allowed them to go out for 4 minutes a opposing player of his choice. A few seconds later, they even find themselves at 7 against 4, following the suspension of another Saiyans player.

The Germans fail to score despite their numerical superiority, while the Spaniards activate their mystery card (goal counts double for 4 minutes!). The moment chosen by presidents to come down from their stands and assert their right to… take a penalty. Younes, the German president, misses it, not GrefG: 2-0, final score. The “Youniors”, the German team, will definitely be very unhappy since at 0-2, and while we entered the last two minutes of the match where all goals count double, another penalty will be missed by Dejagah .

A first meeting which showed a little of the extent of what this competition could offer in terms of entertainment. Especially since the teams and the football stars will come together on this field in Mexico: just after this inaugural match, it was the turn of the Belgian team, led by Eden Hazard. The French will play their first match this Monday evening.

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