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 2021-22 season of the VBL Club Championship (with 26 participants) comprised a total of 26 matchdays (first and second legs), each with six fixtures per division (North-West and South-East). These fixtures were 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 matchdays were completed, the two best clubs in each division qualified directly for the finals tournament that took place with a total of eight participating clubs competing in a group stage and subsequent knock-out stage. The remaining four participants were determined in the playoffs, in which the clubs placed 3rd to 6th in both divisions crossed over and competed against one another. The entire VBL Club Championship was ‘levelled off’ – in other words, all of the players and teams have the same aggregated player rating of 90. Each participating club fielded a team of three to five players.
What is at stake in the VBL Club Championship?
In addition to qualification for the ongoing single-player competition (VBL Playoffs respectively VBL Grand Final), the participating clubs play for the title of ‘German Club Champion in eFootball’ and the Bundesliga Trophy of the VBL Club Championship.
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 from the virtual studio every matchday in which featured matches are presented.
More information on the VBL Club Championship.
Social Media channels of the Virtual Bundesliga: