Sidemen raise £2.4 million, break YouTube viewership records with 2023 charity match

By 09/11/2023
Sidemen raise £2.4 million, break YouTube viewership records with 2023 charity match

The 2023 edition of the annual Sidemen charity soccer match drew bigger numbers than any previous installment of the event series. In front of 62,000 fans at London Stadium, the U.K-based septet and their creator guests scored 13 goals while raising a £2.4 million sum that will be split among several organizations.

The Sidemen squad won the match, defeating the YouTube All-Stars by a score of 8-5. Of the five Sidemen charity matches that have been played, the titular group has won four, including three in a row. Anyone who followed the odds and bet on the home team was rewarded after the September 9 match.

Months before it match was held, Sidemen members like KSI were already hyping it as the biggest charity event in the group’s history. After previously meeting the YouTube All-Stars at a 27,000-seat venue, the Sidemen leveled up their annual showdown by bringing it to the Premier League’s third-largest venue.

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Over the ensuing months, both rosters were filled to the brim with top-tier online video talent. Participants included MrBeastKai Cenat, iShowSpeed, xQc, JiDion, and all seven members of the Sidemen: KSI, Miniminter, Zerkaa, TBJZL, Behzinga, Vikkstar123, and W2S.

To complement a record-breaking in-person crowd, the charity match also attracted more than 2.5 million concurrent viewers on YouTube. That digital audience was just big enough to break the viewership record the Sidemen set last year. Dexerto described the event as the most-watched sports stream in YouTube history, though events organized by Spanish streamers like Ibai have obtained more traffic on Twitch.

Though the latest Sidemen charity match pulled in extraordinary viewership, the on-field action resembled previous editions of the event. American creators like Cenat struggled to master the offside rule, xQc had a field day as the YouTube All-Stars goalkeeper, MrBeast took some hard knocks, and KSI continued his feud with iShowSpeed. The most prominent Sidemen member saved a penalty kick from his American rival before taunting him with Cristiano Ronaldo’s “siuu” celebration.

In its first two days of activity, the official stream of the match has collected nearly 20 million views. A highlight reel has added another seven million views on the official Sidemen YouTube channel.

The biggest highlight from the match didn’t come on the field. One year after the Sidemen raised £1 million for charity, they blew past that mark, eclipsing it more than two times over. KSI and Logan Paul, who used the match as an opportunity to promote their brand Prime, chipped in the biggest donation: £250,000. Recipients of the £2.4 million total will include Rays of Sunshine, the Teenage Cancer Trust, and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Once again, the Sidemen proved that they can harness their star power for good while putting on a spectacular show for their fans. The 2023 charity match will be a tough act to follow, but I’d bet the Sidemen will find another way to up the ante next year.

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