RB Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme is hoping to help the club up the Virtual Bundesliga standings this season too. - © 2019 DFL
RB Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme is hoping to help the club up the Virtual Bundesliga standings this season too. - © 2019 DFL

Defeat for Diego Demme in Virtual Bundesliga debut for RB Leipzig


RB Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme is not only skilled on the Bundesliga pitch, but it also turns out he's a bit of a baller on the e-Sports scene too and made his debut in the VBL Club Championship on Monday.

That's right. The 27-year-old, who has featured in all 11 Bundesliga games so far this term for Julian Nagelsmann's side, completes Leipzig's four-man squad for the 2019/20 Virtual Bundesliga season, and he made his debut on the professional gaming scene during the international break.

Demme - who plays under the name "DD31" - joins the club's e-Sports pros Cihan Yasarlar and Alex Czaplok in the team, alongside Alexander Breuer, who won the 'fan spot' allocation in the squad after winning a tournament.

Diego Demme (c.) has started eight Bundesliga games for RB Leipzig so far this season. - 2019 DFL

"Of course it's a cool thing to be able to play in the Bundesliga in two different sports," Demme, who has over 200 appearances for Leipzig, told bundesliga.com ahead of his eagerly-awaited debut. "I love to game in my spare time and I was asked if I could imagine playing, to which I said 'with pleasure'."

"Davie Selke and Joshua Kimmich messaged me and asked 'Is this true?', my teammates think it's cool obviously, but they're also putting me under a bit of pressure and I guess they're just waiting for me to embarrass myself."

And much like his Leipzig team does on the pitch, Demme employs an attack-minded style of play in the gaming world.

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"Yeah, quite attacking, looking for one-twos and short passes through the middle to break through the opposition defence and bring maximum success," Demme explained.

Leipzig are one of 11 Bundesliga clubs to participate in the VBL, alongside 11 from Bundesliga 2. Demme's debut on Monday 18 November did not go to plan, however, as he slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Cologne gamer Michael 'Phenomeno' Gherman, with Yussuf Poulsen sent off late in the match to compound a disappointing maiden outing.

"It was a fantastic experience in any case, and a lot of fun," Demme told bundesliga.com. "I think with a bit of luck, I could have made it 1-1, but I've come away with a 2-0 defeat against a top player. I can't wait to give it another go."

The result - Cologne won both other games against Leipzig on Matchday 5 - leaves Demme and Co. in 14th place with 18 points. The Billy Goats, meanwhile, climbed to eighth with 25 points. VfB Stuttgart head the table after five rounds of matches with 31 points.

Tweet: "No points against Cologne. Diego Demme narrowly loses 2-0, but it was a good first outing for him against @XPhenomenoX. We also lost the other individual game (@CYasarlar) and the two vs. two (Cihan/Alex)."

Nagelsmann watched on next to Demme and offered words of encouragement to his midfielder after the final whistle: "It was an interesting match. Diego had a good debut and a general rule for him to follow in e-Sport is that we don't lose, we learn. And on Saturday he goes again out on the real pitch."

Incidentally, that Matchday 12 clash offers him an instant chance for revenge, as Die Roten Bullen take on Cologne.

Last season Leipzig finished 11th in the VBL standings, while Werder Bremen ended up as German champions.