The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga continues to advance in the field of eSport. This season the clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are to receive the opportunity for the very first time to compete against each other and determine the German Club Champion in eFootball. It is planned that this format will be implemented in association with the company Electronic Arts.
The positive overall development of eSport in past 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 DFL Board that, with respect to eSport, the DFL will only participate in football simulations. To date eleven clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 have e-athletes playing for them on a competitive level.
As early as 2012 the DFL, as the very first professional football league, had launched an eFootball competition: the TAG Heuer Virtual Bundesliga (VBL). Up to the present the VBL is still the only competition of a professional sports league which is directly integrated into the game EA SPORTS FIFA. Since its introduction the VBL has enjoyed steadily growing popularity with more than 150,000 e-athletes taking part today.
The DFL aims to continue as pioneer in the field of eSport, especially in the category of eFootball, thus winning fans worldwide for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. “Not only is eSport highly popular among the younger generations, it has almost become part of everyday culture – in Germany and far beyond. With this as a background it is a right decision that clubs and the DFL further expand their engagement in this area. It is a matter of shaping the future and responding to changes in media consumption and leisure time in the digital age“, says DFL CEO Christian Seifert.