The DFL has had a pioneering role in eSport, and in the eFootball category in particular, for many years. One of its aims is to attract fans for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 worldwide. In 2012, the DFL became the first professional football league to have its own eFootball competition when it launched the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) in partnership with EA Sports. The VBL remains the only competition of a professional league to be integrated directly into the EA SPORTS FIFA game series. The VBL has enjoyed steadily growing popularity since its launch.
In the 2018-19 season, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs were given their first-ever opportunity to compete directly against each other to be the German Club Champion in eFootball. The positive development of eSport in recent years prompted an exchange between club officials and the DFL in which the strategic relevance of eSport was affirmed and joint initiatives under the umbrella of the DFL were discussed. It was clearly defined and decided by the Executive Committee of the DFL that the DFL will only participate in football simulations to begin with.