The German Football League (DFL) continues to make progress on the topic of eSport. This season, the clubs of the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga will for the first time be given the opportunity to compete directly against each other and play off the German Club Champion in eFootball. The implementation of this format is planned together with the company Electronic Arts.
The positive overall development in the field of eSport in recent years was the reason for an exchange between club representatives and the DFL, in which the strategic relevance of eSport was reaffirmed and joint initiatives under the umbrella of the DFL were discussed. It was clearly defined and also decided by the DFL Presidium that the DFL would only be involved in football simulations. So far, eSportsmen have competed for eleven Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga clubs.
As early as 2012, the DFL launched the TAG Heuer Virtuelle Bundesliga (VBL), the first professional football league ever to launch an eFootball competition. To date, this is the only professional league competition directly integrated into the EA SPORTS FIFA game. Since its introduction, the VBL has enjoyed a steadily increasing popularity with more than 150,000 participants.
The aim of the DFL is to continue to play a pioneering role in the field of eSport and in particular in the eFootball category and thus to win fans worldwide for the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga. “eSport is not only very popular with young people, it is almost part of everyday culture – in Germany and far beyond. Against this background, it is the right decision for clubs and the DFL to further expand their commitment in this area. It is about shaping the future and responding to changes in media use and leisure behaviour in times of digitality,” says DFL Managing Director Christian Seifert.