The ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’, a virtual football tournament organised by the DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga, has engaged fans worldwide during the training free period due to the spread of the coronavirus. The line-up featured players from Germany’s top two professional leagues.
A total of 110 competitors from 26 clubs took part in the tournament, played in EA SPORTS’ football simulation video game, FIFA 20, exclusively on the PlayStation 4 console. The line-up featured players from Germany’s top two professional leagues, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, including Borussia Dortmund’s attacking full-back Achraf Hakimi and goalscorer Andreas Voglsammer of Bundesliga 2 title-chasers DSC Arminia Bielefeld. A team of top-level referees, professional gamers, and staff involved with the clubs also played a part in bringing an end to the football-free period.
The fourth and final round of the virtual competition saw rival teams paired against each other to play out a multitude of local derbies and classic clashes. The weekend saw FC Schalke 04’s Nassim Boujellab produce an 8-0 win over Borussia Dortmund’s Hakimi in a virtual Revierderby. Borussia Mönchengladbach also faced FC Köln, while Hamburger SV took on FC St. Pauli.
The ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’ was broadcast nationally and internationally by a number of the DFL’s global media partners. In Germany, media outlets including Pro7/ran, Sky, DAZN, Bild and Sport1 broadcast the tournament online and on television. On average, two million viewers tuned in to watch the action on each match day.
Each game was played in FIFA 20’s ‘85 mode’. This ensures that games are won on skill, rather than team’s overall quality by setting each player’s overall rating to 85.
While results in the ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’ did not influence the official Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 standings, the tournament helped to keep fans engaged, entertained, and ready for when play is resumed in Germany’s top leagues.
With the ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’, the DFL continues to build its presence in the increasingly popular world of esports. The DFL became the first professional football league to launch its own esports competition, the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL), in 2012.
The following clubs and players from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 participated in the ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’:
- FSV Mainz 05: Jonathan Burkhardt / Leandro Barreiro / Florian Müller / Daniel Brosinski
- 1. FC Köln: Noah Katterbach / Rafael Czichos
- FC Nürnberg: Tim Handwerker / Felix Schimmel
- FC Union Berlin: Keven Schlotterbeck / Julius Kade
- Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Adrian Stanilewicz / Nadiem Amiri / Wendell
- Borussia Dortmund: Achraf Hakimi / Eldin Todorovac / Leonardo Balerdi
- Borussia Mönchengladbach: Jonas Hofmann
- DSC Arminia Bielefeld: Amos Pieper / Andreas Voglsammer
- Eintracht Frankfurt: Nils Stendera
- FC Augsburg: Marco Richter
- FC Schalke 04: Nassim Boujellab
- FC St. Pauli: Luca Zander / Marvin Knoll
- Hamburger SV: Tim Leibold / Sonny Kittel
- Hannover 96: Jannes Horn / Julian Korb
- Hertha BSC: Pascal Köpke / Maximilian Mittelstädt, Holstein Kiel: Dominik Schmidt
- RB Leipzig: Tom Krauss / Nordi Mukiele
- SC Freiburg: Mark Flekken / Nico Schlotterbeck
- SC Paderborn 07: Marlon Ritter / Lucas Fiedler
- SG Dynamo Dresden: Justin Löwe / Marcel Gramann/ Baris Atik, Marco Terrazzino
- SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Timothy Tillman
- SSV Jahn Regensburg: Tom Baack / Federico Palacios
- SV Darmstadt 98: Felix Platte / Erich Berko
- SV Wehen Wiesbaden: Sascha “M_0cki” Mockenhaupt / Sidney Friede
- SV Werder Bremen: Davie Selke / Milos Vejlkovic / Maximilian Eggestein
- TSG Hoffenheim: Munas Dabbur
- VfL Bochum 1848: Ulrich Bapoh / Vitaly Janelt
- VfB Stuttgart: Atakan Karazor
- VfL Wolfsburg: Lino Kasten, Schiedsrichter-Team: Deniz Aytekin / Daniel Schlager / Martin Petersen
Highlights and statistics from all four ‘Bundesliga Home Challenge’ matchdays are available at virtual.bundesliga.com.