27 March 2022 – The new German Club Champion in eFootball is RB Leipzig. The team featuring Umut “RBLZ_Umut” Gültekin, Anders “RBLZ_Vejrgang” Vejrgang and Richard “RBLZ_Gaucho10” Hormes, who were in action over the finals weekend, as well as Lena “RBLZ_Lena” Güldenpfennig and Ben “RBLZ_Kette” Kettenbeil prevailed over FC St. Pauli in the final of the VBL Club Championship by bevestor at the Strassenkicker Base in Cologne this evening.
The VBL Club Championship by bevestor is a competition within the bevestor Virtual Bundesliga and is jointly organised by the DFL and ESL Gaming. In total, 26 clubs from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 took part in it with their eFootball teams during the season just concluded. The eight best clubs after the division phase and the playoffs faced off in the finals tournament in Cologne on Saturday and Sunday.
RB Leipzig was in first place after 26 matchdays in the South-East Division and therefore qualified for the tournament directly. On finals weekend, the club’s eFootballers finished the group phase in second place in the table and moved into the semi-finals. On Sunday, they were crowned the new German Club Champion – succeeding 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 – after a semi-final win against F.C. Hansa Rostock and the victory against FC St. Pauli in the final.
The trophy was presented by Jörg Höflich, Head of Virtual Bundesliga at the DFL, who said, “Congratulations to RB Leipzig on winning the German Club Championship in eFootball! The finals weekend was a fitting climax to an exciting season in the VBL Club Championship, to the appeal of which all of the clubs as well as numerous partners – first and foremost ESL Gaming and bevestor – have contributed. We would like to say a big thank you for that and are now looking forward to the next deciding matches in the competition for the individual players.”
ESL Gaming was also very pleased with the final: “It was a great experience for the players and emotions were running high throughout the entire weekend,” said Christian Knoth, Product Manager – Virtual Bundesliga. “Here we can see very clearly how essential it is for all those involved and for the competition to have events like this take place in person and therefore, we really hope we can also go ahead with our current plan to hold the Grand Final among the individual players with fans present.”
What happens next: VBL Grand Final by bevestor as an in-person tournament with spectators
As in the previous years, eFootballers were also able to qualify for the subsequent competitions to decide which individual player will be the German Champion in eFootball through the VBL Club Championship: Two team members from each of the clubs in 5th to 10th place in both divisions will take part in the playoffs of the VBL Open by bevestor. These will be held on 7 and 8 May with places in the VBL Grand Final at stake. In addition, two team members from each of the first four clubs in both divisions qualify directly for the VBL Grand Final, which will be held on 4 and 5 June as an in-person tournament at “XPOST” in Cologne – where spectators could also be in attendance according to the current plan.
About the Virtual Bundesliga
In 2012, the DFL became the first professional football league to have its own eSport competition when it launched the VBL in partnership with EA SPORTS. The VBL is still the only eSport competition of a professional football league to be directly integrated into the EA SPORTS FIFA game series. The VBL has enjoyed steadily growing popularity since its launch, with the number of participants consistently exceeding 100,000 in recent times. In 2018, the decision to launch the VBL Club Championship with the clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in addition to the VBL Open competition for individual players was taken in response to the increasing popularity of the VBL, the growing relevance of eSport in general and the DFL’s focus on football simulation games. The DFL has also been cooperating with ESL, the world’s largest eSport company, since 2020. With its expertise in building up and expanding ecosystems in conjunction with digital sport, the DFL would like to further develop and professionalise the VBL.