August 25 – The Virtual Bundesliga esports club championship has been expanded to 26 clubs for its third season that will be played on the FIFA 21 video game.
The VBL Club Championship is organised by DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga in partnership with FIFA 21 game maker EA Sports and will see its 2020/21 season start in November – the full calendar will be released in September.
“All matches will be played in ‘leveled-off mode’, meaning that all of the players and teams will have the same aggregated player rating. As in previous years, the eSport competitors representing the clubs can qualify for the VBL Playoffs and the VBL Grand Final through the final table of the VBL Club Championship. There, the individual players play off to determine the ‘VBL Champion’, i.e. the German eFootball Champion,” said a DFL press release.
The VBL is still the only professional football league eSport competition to be directly integrated into the EA Sports FIFA game series – about 130,000 participants took part last season.
The previous two seasons have seen 22 clubs entered. The new season’s 26 clubs are: FC Augsburg, Hertha Berlin, VfL Bochum 1848, Eintracht Braunschweig, SV Werder Bremen, SV Darmstadt 98, Eintracht Frankfurt, SpVgg Greuther Fürth, Hamburger SV, Hannover 96, 1. FC Heidenheim 1846, TSG Hoffenheim, Holstein Kiel, 1. FC Köln, RB Leipzig, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 1. FSV Mainz 05, Borussia Mönchengladbach, 1. FC Nürnberg, SC Paderborn 07, FC St. Pauli, SSV Jahn Regensburg, SV Sandhausen, FC Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg, FC Würzburger Kickers.
Notable absentees are Bayer Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
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