Wednesday October 4, 2023

TBT Enterprises Launches $1M Soccer Tournament

  • The winner-take-all, 7v7 tournament will start in June 2023.
  • Hashtag United and a team founded by Clint Dempsey are the only two teams announced.
The Soccer Tournament
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The creators of The Basketball Tournament are taking their high-stakes format of sports competition to the pitch.

On Tuesday, TBT Enterprises announced The Soccer Tournament (TST) — a soccer version of its signature $1 million, winner-takes-all tournament. It is set to get underway in June 2023.

TST will follow the typical World Cup tournament structure of group play followed by knockout rounds — but it will use a 7v7 format rather than the traditional 11v11.

Like its basketball counterpart, the competition will select the field after a period of open entry, with two of the 32 teams already announced.

  • Hashtag United, the semi-professional soccer club founded by YouTuber Spencer Owen in 2016.
  • Team Dempsey, a team founded for the purposes of the tournament by American soccer legend Clint Dempsey.

“TST is an opportunity for players to show what they’ve got,” said Dempsey. “I came from the pickup culture, and we’ll be on the search for unproven talent that may have been overlooked by the American soccer system. Don’t sleep on Team Dempsey, we’re coming to win.”

“We’ve experienced a lot in our 7-year history, including FA Cup runs and league championships, but nothing like TST,” Owen said. “We firmly believe playing in this tournament means being at the front and center of an exciting evolution in football/soccer that pushes boundaries in an attempt to maximize entertainment for both the player and the viewer.”

One of TBT’s hallmarks is the use of the Elam Ending, a highly acclaimed format to end basketball games that favors a target score over an expiring game clock. TST will similarly implement Target Score Time — which will see all games end on a goal.

“Fans can expect an hour of highly skilled, electrifying, attacking football,” said TST co-founder Mike Volk. “So far, we are averaging over forty shots on goal per game, though it’s impossible to project exactly what will happen once there is a million dollars on the line.

“One thing is certain: players love seven on seven soccer for its action, flow and skill, and we believe fans will too.”

TBT Enterprises has attracted several notable partners over the years, including NBA star Chris Paul and former MLB executive Tim Brosnan.

“What drew me to the ownership group is their commitment to creating a great tournament where every minute of every game is meaningful,” said Paul, a co-owner in both TBT and TST. “The model breeds intense competition and is built for success beyond just basketball. That’s why I’m so excited to be part of the team as we launch TST, and why I expect it to have as much of an impact on the sport of soccer as TBT has had on basketball.”

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