The Balloon World Cup is a new sports event, created by Ibai Llanos, a famous streamer from Spain, and Gerard Piqué, the ex-football player of FC Barcelona. The tournament is streamed by Ibai and watched by thousands of people through the platform called Twitch. This year (2022) was the second edition of it and it had 16 participants from around the world. All the players were selected by being the best ones from their home country, after a competition in each of them. The winner of this year was a Spanish guy called Miguel Imbroda, removing the previous title from Francesco de la Cruz, a Peruvian guy.
Picture of this year winner, Miguel Imbroda
The game is about “a balloon that doesn’t have to fall down”. Each match has two players and they have to touch the balloon once each other until it falls. When this happens, the participant who didn’t drop it wins points. They have two minutes to win, and in the final match, they have five. It sounds easy, isn’t it? Well… The scenario where the match is being played, has some obstacles, such as sofas, chairs, tables, beds, etc. Also, they include a car (a marketing strategy) in the last match where the winner is declared.
Picture from the final match, with the car in the middle
Here you can read some of the rules, which are easy to understand:
- The players have to touch the balloon with their hand (not with other parts of the body), throwing it up, not down, and neither to the opponent.
- The players can only touch the balloon once before the opponent touches it.
- One player wins a point when his/her opponent can’t touch the balloon before it touches the ground.
- The player who has more points when the time finishes, wins the match.
- If the two players are tied, it starts a prorogue, where they have to use their heads and feet, instead of their hands. The one that achieves the first point, wins. This is called “Gold Balloon”.
What I like the most about this event is that is revolutionary, nobody had thought about doing a “new sport” from a thing that every one of us had played when we were a child. It sounds stupid but, it’s quite entertaining and funny watching people playing it, making a show. The idea was picked from two American brothers playing in their house this balloon game. When Ibai saw that, he said (as a joke) that he wanted to buy the rights of that and make a world cup. After that, it became a reality.
The only thing that I don’t like is that in this last edition, the competition was less serious than the other year, because of the arbitrariness. On Ibai Llanos’ YouTube channel, some fans had commented “Few times the sequels are better than the beginnings, although it was a good atmosphere and a better organization, the play was not the same because of the arbitration controversies” said Anthony Sneider. So, I think that they should reform some of the rules and think about efficient methods to do it better. This year was more like a show than a sporting event.
To resume, it’s always nice to see new sports and if people emphasize them, it becomes more entertaining. “Creating” the Balloon World Cup, makes people not refuse and hide their thoughts, because, in the beginning, an idea can be stupid, but sometimes is not. So, this event, although it had some controversies, it’s a new way to see the sports world.
Name of the event: Balloon World Cup 2022 | Place: PortAventura World (Spain) | When it was: 27th October 2022 | Website: https://balloonworldcup.pro/
- Reglas de juego. (n.d.). Balloonworldcup.pro. Retrieved 21 November 2022, from https://balloonworldcup.pro/reglas-de-juego/
- Pictures taken by me, retrieved from the public youtube video of the event by Ibai Llanos’ channel
- Ibai [IbaiLlanos]. (2021, August 21). Quiero comprar los derechos de esto y montar un mundial https://t.co/VooLq4HTbE . Twitter. https://twitter.com/
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