23 September 2021 – The bevestor Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) is celebrating its anniversary: The competition will begin its tenth season on 1 November and is again inviting all interested players to take part in the VBL Open by bevestor. The VBL, which was founded in 2012 as a partnership between DFL and EA SPORTS, remains to this day the only competition of a professional football league to be directly integrated in the EA SPORTS FIFA game series.
The VBL has enjoyed steadily growing popularity, with around 130,000 participants taking part last season in Germany. The DFL has also been cooperating with ESL Gaming, 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.
26 clubs in the VBL Club Championship
The VBL Club Championship by bevestor is entering its fourth season this year. This part of the competition, which was launched in the 2018-19 season and is carried out in close cooperation with ESL Gaming, has a consistently high number of participants, with FIFA teams competing from a total of 26 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs. The first double matchdays of the season will take place on 9 and 10 November.
The only changes in the line-up this year relate to league affiliation: FC Würzburger Kickers and Eintracht Braunschweig are no longer DFL members after their football teams were relegated from Bundesliga 2. FC Hansa Rostock and FC Ingolstadt 04 are members following their promotion to Bundesliga 2 and have decided to take part in the VBL Club Championship. All 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are entitled to take part in the VBL Club Championship.
FC Augsburg, Hertha Berlin, VfL Bochum 1848, SV Werder Bremen, SV Darmstadt 98, Eintracht Frankfurt, SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Hamburger SV, Hannover 96, 1. FC Heidenheim 1846, TSG Hoffenheim, FC Ingolstadt 04, Holstein Kiel, 1. FC Köln, RB Leipzig, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 1. FSV Mainz 05, Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1. FC Nürnberg, SC Paderborn 07, FC St. Pauli, SSV Jahn Regensburg, FC Hansa Rostock, SV Sandhausen, FC Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg
The field of participants initially will again be split into two divisions along geographical lines (North-West and South-East). The final of the German eFootball club championship will be held on 26 and 27 March 2022. The reigning German Club Champion is 1. FC Heidenheim 1846.
The VBL Grand Final will take place at the beginning of June 2022, when an individual player will be crowned German Champion. In the first nine years of the competition, there were nine different title winners, whose names were engraved in the championship trophy. Last year’s title winner and thus reigning German Champion is Umut “RBLZ_Umut” Gültekin from RB Leipzig.
All matches in the Virtual Bundesliga are played with the football simulation EA SPORTS FIFA 22. The 2021-22 season will use the latest generations of both consoles, i.e. the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X.