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 Club Championship, in which clubs from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 vie to be the German club champion in eFootball, was launched in the 2018-19 season. This FAQ explains why the DFL is involved in eSport and how the VBL Club Championship works.
How is participation in the VBL Club Championship determined?
All clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are entitled to take part in the VBL Club Championships. Each club is free to decide whether or not to participate. This decision has no bearing on the club’s participation in subsequent seasons.
How are the matches in the VBL Club Championship played?
The current 2020-21 season of the VBL Club Championship (with 26 participants) comprises a total of 26 match days (first and second legs), each with six fixtures per division (North-West and South-East). These fixtures are played with the current version of EA SPORTS FIFA, in “Davis Cup” format. This means that each match between two clubs consists of three games. Two of these games are played in one-on-one mode: one on the PlayStation 4 and one on the Xbox One. The third game is played in two-on-two mode on the console of the home club’s choice. Once all 26 match days have been completed, the two best clubs in each division qualify directly for the finals tournament that takes place with a total of eight participating clubs competing in a group stage and subsequent knock-out stage. The remaining four participants are determined in the “final-chance phase”, in which the clubs placed 3rd to 6th in both divisions cross over and compete against one another. The entire competition of the VBL Club Championship is “levelled off” – in other words, all of the players and teams have the same aggregated player rating. Compared with the previous years, this player rating was raised from 85 to 90 in the current season. Each participating club has a squad of two to four players.
What is at stake in the VBL Club Championship?
Along with qualification for the VBL Grand Final or the VBL Playoffs, the participating clubs are playing for the title of “German eFootball Champion” and the VBL Club Championship trophy, which goes to the winning club after the finals tournament. The design of the trophy is based on the Bundesliga trophy. The V-shaped notches are a nod to the cursor that marks the player currently being controlled in EA SPORTS FIFA and is also part of the VBL logo. The silver-coloured trophy, which has a diameter of around 50 centimetres, will be used as a travelling trophy, with the names of the victorious clubs engraved each time.
What is the format of the VBL International Series?
The VBL International Series started in the 2019-20 season with regional qualifying rounds in several countries, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, Timor-Leste and Vietnam in the Asia region as well as Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, the USA and Canada in the America region. In the second phase of the competition, the best players from the regional online qualifying rounds represented their region at the VBL Continental Finals. Following this premiere, the VBL International Series will be held for the second time in the 2020-21 season.
Where can I watch the matches in the VBL Club Championship by bevestor?
The games in the VBL Club Championship by bevestor will be played as online matches during the regular season. You can follow all matches as individual games on the live stream at virtual.bundesliga.com. At the same web address and on the official VBL Twitch and YouTube channels, you can also find a program from the virtual studio every match day from 4:15 p.m. (CET) in which a total of four featured matches are presented.
More information on the VBL Club Championship.
Go to the bevestor Virtual Bundesliga YouTube channel.
Go to the bevestor Virtual Bundesliga Twitch channel.