Mainstream Soccer Is ‘Scared’ of the Kings League
Former FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué unveiled a giant banner in Barcelona on Friday, shadowing mainstream football because he is “scared” of it new Twitch football league, the Kings Leagueand his upcoming final at the famous Camp Nou stadium.
“The thought of us filling the Camp Nou really scares them,” read the banner in Spanish and Catalan, part of Piqué’s latest attempt at a sell-out the Camp Nou stadium with 99,000 seatsthe largest in Europe, for the Kings League final on March 26th.
AThough the Kings League didn’t confirm the banner was addressed to anyone — league officials told Gizmodo they would let the public interpret it — it’s pretty clear to anyone who’s been following the indoor soccer tournament that the message was aimed at them is Javier Tebas, President of the Spanish football league LaLiga. Piqué and Tebas have been at odds for months over the Kings League, which the former soccer player invented to make the sport more accessible and exciting, and its impact.
Mainstream Spanish football calls the Kings League a ‘circus’
Shortly after the Kings League debut on January 1st Tebas rejected Piqué’s new form of football as a competitor to traditional pay-tv football, although LaLiga and the Kings League compete each Sunday for viewers. While LaLiga broadcasts its games on traditional pay-TV, the Kings League streams its six-hour marathon game days on Twitch, YouTube and TikTok and offers them for free.
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“It’s a circus and it’s not about whether it can attract younger audiences,” Tebas said Jan. 9. “As a circus, I like the Kings League, but you can’t compare it to the football industry.”
Piqué was undeterred. Hours after Tebas made his comments to the press, he said tweeted out, “Welcome to the Kings League circus!” and went on to tease a football star playing that weekend, whom he dressed up as a mystery clown. The player turned out to be retired Argentine forward Sergio “El Kun” Agüero.
In fact, unlike traditional football, the Kings League is part circus and part soccer, with a dash of video games. The 12 teams will be led by Twitch streamers and former pro football stars, and the games will consist of two 20-minute halves where anything can happen. Trainers can use Secret Weapon cards to gain an advantage over the opposing team. Piqué also intervenes in the games with his “League” cards, which take a certain number of players off at the end of the first half.
Tebas once again showed his dislike for the Kings League in mid-February when he responded to criticism from Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the football governing body in Spain. Rubiales said so Kings League was ‘a different and fun format’ that had to be respected, adding that changes had to be made to the format of traditional football in order to surprise the public. Tebas replied dryly and with undisguised contempt.
“Rubiales’ analysis is that the league should follow the example of a streamer-led event where they dress up as clowns,” he explained.
The Kings League is gearing up for its final at the Camp Nou on March 26
Tensions between Piqué and Tebas hang over the inaugural Kings League season as the former football star tries to prove his new vision of football can appeal to large audiences and attract youngsters. So far, the Kings League has had great success.
His twitch channel was the top channel in Spain January And February, according to Spanish streaming tracker TVTOP España. In addition, on February 26, the Kings League announced that more than two million people had watched the show Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho debuts livewho played for Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos’ team “Porcinos FC”.
On Friday, Piqué and Kings League officials unveiled the entertainment line-up for the final at the Camp Nou Chup chup kings, their streaming show for league announcements. In addition to duels between the last four teams, the event will include performances by Argentine artists Lali and Tiago PZK. The showman Piqué also announced that the Kings League would try to break through Guinness World Record for most people wearing costume maskswhich stands at 30,050, and would be handing out free masks with the Kings League logo at the Camp Nou on March 26.
Selling the Camp Nou stadium with a three-month-old twitch football league would undoubtedly be a win for Piqué and would give him the proof he needs to show mainstream football that the Kings League is a force to be reckoned with you have to calculate. More than 60,000 tickets had already been sold by Friday.
“There is no stadium like the Camp Nou,” Piqué said in his Friday pitch to resell tickets Chup chup kings, accompanied by dramatic music. “The finalists will put on a show that the city of Barcelona will remember. You can not miss it.”
https://gizmodo.com/gerard-pique-kings-league-banner-javier-tebas-camp-nou-1850215787 Mainstream Soccer Is ‘Scared’ of the Kings League