USATT and T2 ANNOUNCES SEASON TWO OF “T2 CHALLENGE”

Second Season of Elite Table Tennis Action Will Feature Top Players In Every US Region Competing for $43,000 in Prize Purse with a Champion to be Crowned at a Final Event in Las Vegas in February 2021

 

(Colorado Springs, CO – November 16, 2020) – USA Table Tennis (“USATT”) the National Governing Body for the sport of table tennis and T2 Table Tennis League (“T2”), today announced details for Season Two of the T2 Challenge. The second season of elite level table tennis action will have the top table tennis players in America battling through Regional-based matches and a spot in the T2 Challenge Finals, where a  $43,000 prize purse awaits in Las Vegas in February of 2021. The action will be broadcasted every Thursday night on USATT’s streaming video platforms beginning in December.

 

“We’re incredibly excited for Season Two of T2 Challenge,” said USATT Chief Executive Officer Virginia Sung. “Season One presented some great table tennis action amongst our US National Team members, and this season we are going to expand our reach to bring in all of the top players in America. Our goal is to get our country’s best players back in top form in a safe environment, where they can compete for pride and the potential for big prize awards. We want to thank our great partners at T2 for helping USATT present this elite event, which should provide some exciting table tennis action for all of the fans of USATT’s Thursday Night Live programming.”

 

USATT’s High-Performance Director Sean O’Neill echoed Ms. Sung’s sentiments about the success of Season One of the Thursday Night Live: T2 Challenge and the prospect of an even more exciting product in Season Two. “I would like to thank all the members of the US National Team and several premier USATT Member Clubs around the country that made Season One such a big success. Working with the team at T2 has been an absolute pleasure. I look forward to many USA Table Tennis members participating in T2 Challenge on Thursday Night Live.”

 

T2’s founder and chairman, Mr. Frank Ji is elated that this partnership with USATT has been fruitful and is gearing towards yet another season and now being open to a wider range of participants in the US. “When we innovate the sport, we have no intention to only keep it within the professional players, but we want the T2 Match Format to be at the top of mind of every table tennis enthusiast. The rules are clear and simple, and it is meant to spur the people who play to think more strategically and play faster.”

 

The first stages of T2 Challenge Season Two is set to begin as early as next week as seven USATT affiliated Member Clubs host Regional Qualification Events in which the top table tennis players in each US Region will seek to earn one of 32 total designated Regional Qualification spots T2 Challenge Season Two. These are open events available to all elite-level table players of any age and gender, provided the player is based in the United States and has a USATT rating over 2000.

 

The seven USATT Member Clubs hosting the T2 Challenge Season 2 Regional Qualification Events will also serve as the host facilities for the Regional Matches. Those Clubs with their total number of available Regional Qualification spots and a corresponding number of Regional Matches are as follows:

(i) Westchester Table Tennis Center (Pleasantville, NY) (8 Regional Qualifiers) (Four Regional Matches);

(ii) The Lily Yip Table Tennis Center (Dunellen, NJ) (2 Regional Qualifiers) (One Regional Match);

(iii) Triangle Badminton and Table Tennis, LLC (Morrisville, NC) (2 Regional Qualifiers) (One Regional Match);

(iv) Samsom Dubina Table Tennis Academy (Akron, OH) (2 Regional Qualifiers) (One Regional Match);

(v) Houston International Table Tennis Academy (Katy, TX) (6 Regional Qualifiers) (Three Regional Matches);

(vi) California Table Tennis (Rosemead, CA) (4 Regional Qualifiers) (Two Regional Matches); and

(vii) ICC Table Tennis (Milpitas, CA) (8 Regional Qualifiers) (Four Regional Matches).

In the Regional Stage of the T2 Challenge Season, each Regional Qualifier will play the one match within his or her Region. In those regions where there is more than just one Regional Match to be played, the Regional Qualifiers will be matched up against one another based on USATT Rating (highest rated player playing the lowest, etc…)

 

New elements to the competition will also be introduced in this new season, which are the “T2 Points” and the “T2 Leaderboard”. This time, every player is awarded with individual and team points when they win or lose. Individually, players who win will be awarded with

  1. 3-point for a Win;
  2. 0-point for a Loss; and
  3. 5-point for a Win for a match that is played without FAST5.

     

    The individual results will then contribute to the team points of

  1. 1-point for a Win;
  2. 0-point for a Loss; and
  1. 2-point for a Win for a match that is played without FAST5.

As with Season One, the Regional Stage of the event takes on a “TEAM” component and matches will be played in a designated sequence. The LOSER of each Regional match will pick his or her teammate from the two players designated for the next scheduled Regional match. This will progressively create two “teams” who will be competing against one another to win with the most matches or points (USATT will release a specific schedule of the sequence of designated Regional matches in the immediate future.). The sixteen players on the WINNING TEAM (i.e. the team that wins the most Regional matches or points) T2 Challenge Season Two Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada in February 2020.

 

Four “Wild Card” players will be introduced to challenge the sixteen regional finalists  – the event will shift back to a decidedly more “individual” approach for the Finals. These “Wild Card” players are expected to include the top players in the US available at that time, including players who have (or will) represent the United States in the Olympics and/or World Championships.

 

During the Finals in Las Vegas, the twenty players will be broken into four groups of five for round-robin play. The top two players from each round-robin will advance to an eight-person single-elimination Final Event – after which, one person will be crowned the T2 Challenge Season 2 Champion.

 

USATT will utilize T2 Match Rules for the matches throughout T2 Challenge Season 2.  Under these rules, the matches are best of seven games played with a running twenty-four-minute clock. Every game beginning before the expiration of the twenty-four-minute clock is considered a “regular” game and played to eleven points; while every game begun after the expiration of the twenty-four-minute clock is a “FAST5” in which the first player to reach five points takes the game. It is important to note that regardless of whether it is a “regular” game or a “FAST5” game, under T2 Rules, there is no deuce.

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About USA-Table Tennis

USA Table Tennis is organized under the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of table tennis in the United States. As a member service organization, it promotes table tennis by creating opportunities for athletes and coaches of all backgrounds to participate in the sport through more than 250 clubs and over 350 tournaments across the nation annually. USA Table Tennis is a member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Pan American, Parapan, Paralympic and Olympic Games.

About T2 Table Tennis League

Fueled by the vision to catapult table tennis into a new era of commercial growth, T2 Table Tennis League sets out to reshape the image of the sport whilst upholding the highest standards of competition.  It pushes boundaries of current Table Tennis norms seeking to rewrite the status quo by being more provocative, fierce and fresh.

 

Under its belt, two successful seasons of innovative tournaments were held between 2017-19, T2 Asia Pacific and T2 Diamond. These tournaments were played to unique competition formats, featuring world ranking Table Tennis stars which boasts a collective prize purse of almost USD 3 million and bonus ITTF World Ranking points. The revolutionary league also employs various other innovations that catapult table tennis into a truly entertaining spectator sport, whilst providing players with the ultimate environment in which to compete and excel.

 

T2 Table Tennis League is a joint-venture of Asia Pacific Table Tennis League and Dentsu Sports Asia; a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dentsu. The Company is headquartered in Singapore and operates a business presence in Shanghai and Tokyo.

 

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USATT Contact:

Chad Knasinski, Director of Marketing and Communications

Chad.Knasinski@usatt.org (Tel: 303-596-7955)

 

T2 Contact:

Belinda Liew (media@t2apac.com)