YouTubers for Charity: Sidemen return with their soccer charity game against famous content creators


Amanda Riha

Illustration by

Alexandra Martinakova, Contributing Writer

Four years, twelve million more YouTube subscribers and several rising content creators later, The Sidemen boys came back on Sept. 24, with their annual charity soccer match. Thanks to the rise in popularity and the enormous platform that comes with it, this year the Sidemen chose not one, not two, but four different organizations to fund.

Sidemen are a group of seven different English YouTubers: Miniminter, KSI, Vikkstar123, Zerkaa, Behzinga, TBJZL and W2S; who created a joint channel in 2015. While each of the members has their own content, the Sidemen channel is focused on their charity games and Sidemen Sundays, a weekly update of ideas submitted by fans, that have been ongoing since 2018.

Their first charity soccer match in 2016 began what was supposed to be just a soccer match trilogy, against YouTube Allstars, a group of rising YouTubers, such as BajanCanadian, Callux and the honorary Sidemen member ChrisMD.

With the broadening of content platforms over the last few years, the YouTube Allstars team was not limited to just YouTubers this time, but rather a variety of content creators like TikTok star Noah Beck and Twitch streamers GeorgeNotFound and Karl Jacobs.  

We can’t forget about the original members of the MrBeast channel Chris Tyson and Chandler Hallow, who made their own appearances on the field, alongside MrBeast himself, Jimmy Donaldson,  who just last summer became the second individual YouTuber to pass 100 million subscribers. Other participating players included YouTubers LazarBeam, Callux, ChrisMD, IShowSpeed, KSI’s brother Deji, Chunkz, Niko Omilana and many more.

This year’s match was an event on a whole new level, obvious from the completely sold-out The Valley stadium, which hosts up to 27,000 people, and their live stream viewers peaking at 2.6 million.

The beauty of these matches is not just in the fact that they donate every earning to their chosen establishments, but also it’s pretty much peak comedy. It’s a soccer match, full of players who make their living sitting behind some kind of a screen, it’s not exactly Premier League. This was more than obvious, especially considering one of the players, WillNE played the entirety of the game with a GoPro camera strapped to his front. 

Each player on the field lives for making people laugh, and that is what you’re getting while watching this match. The overall experience is made even better under the commentaries of the English comedian Stephen Tries and the founder of the popular YouTube soccer team Hashtag United, Spencer FC.  

However, I cannot completely bash the players, especially the Sidemen boys. Vikkstar once again proved to his fans why they have been jokingly comparing him to soccer stars like Cristiano Ronaldo or Harry Kane, with his plays and a flawless first Sidemen goal of the match. The title of the best player of the game however goes to Miniminter, real name Simon Minter, who managed to score a hat-trick and three assists, winning Sidemen the game, 8-7.

As impressive as the final score was, even more impressive is the overall raised amount, which crossed the 1 million UK pound line in just three hours. The money will aid four UK-based corporations, with 80% split between Teenage Cancer Trust, the only organization in the United Kingdom which provides and funds care for teenage cancer patients and CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a leading organization against suicide.

The remaining 20% will be split between Rays of Sunshine, an establishment dedicated to brightening the days of ill children across the UK and Miniminter’s corporation M7 Education, which he created alongside his brother. Together, they organize various school trips for children, allowing them to learn visually rather than just sit in the classroom.

The Sidemen soccer charity matches are a unique experience, no matter whether or not you enjoy soccer as a game. Like I said before, it’s a bunch of grown men who make fools of themselves for a living, trying very hard to at least look like they know what they’re doing on the field. It’s a show, rather than a game and definitely a very enjoyable one. And it’s for a good cause. We can only hope we’ll see more of it in the upcoming years.