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 Championship. In May 2022, the DFL Members Assembly passed a resolution to enshrine the Virtual Bundesliga in the league statutes of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga as an additional competition. From the 2023-24 season, the aim is therefore for the clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 to take part in the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship.
How are the matches in the VBL Club Championship played?
The 2022-23 season of the VBL Club Championship includes 29 participating teams, initially divided into two divisions: The South-East division with 14 clubs playing each other in first and second legs (a total of 26 match days in the divisional phase) and the North-West division with 15 clubs (30 match days). The fixtures are being played with the current version of EA SPORTS FIFA 23. A fixture consists of a minimum of two and a maximum of three single matches. The club that is victorious after two or three single matches receives three points in the division table, the losing club receives no points. In the event of a draw after three single matches, both clubs receive one point each.
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 playoffs, in which the clubs placed 3rd to 6th in both divisions cross over and compete against one another.
The entire VBL Club Championship is ‘levelled off’ – in other words, all of the players and teams have the same aggregated player rating of 95. Each participating club fielded a team of three to five players. All matches are played on the PlayStation 5.
What is at stake in the VBL Club Championship?
In addition to qualification for the ongoing single-player competition (VBL Open Playoffs respectively VBL Grand Final), the participating clubs play for the title of ‘German Club Champion in eFootball’, the Bundesliga Trophy of the VBL Club Championship and a prize money pool of 72,500 Euros.
The trophy is designed in the style of 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.
Where can I watch the matches in the VBL Club Championship?
The games in the VBL Club Championship are played as online matches during the regular season. Spectators are able to watch all the 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, spectators also find a program every matchday in which featured matches are presented.
More information on the VBL Club Championship.
Social Media channels of the Virtual Bundesliga: