RB Leipzig win German eFootball Club Championship 2023
RB Leipzig are the 2023 Virtual Bundesliga Club champions, successfully defending the German eFootball title they won last year.
A Leipzig team comprising Umut 'RBLZ_Umut' Gültekin and Anders 'RBLZ_Vejrgang' Vejrgang, who played in the final weekend, as well as Richard 'RBLZ_Gaucho10' Hormes and Lena 'RBLZ Lena' Güldenpfennig, beat FC Hansa Rostock after three individual matches at the Strassenkicker Base in Cologne. All of the games were played on EA SPORTS' FIFA 23.
The VBL Club Championship is part of the Virtual Bundesliga and is organized by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga in cooperation with the ESL FACEIT Group. eFootball teams representing 29 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs took part over the course of the season. The best eight clubs after the division stage and the playoffs competed in the final tournament on Saturday and Sunday. For the first time, it was possible to buy tickets for the final of the VBL Club Championship. Around 300 spectators were in attendance at the sold-out Soccer Hall.
Leipzig finished first in the South-East Division at the end of the division stage, before winning their group in the final tournament, beating FC Schalke 04 in the semi-finals and Hansa Rostock in the final.
Watch: VBL Club Championship 2023 highlights (commentary in German)
Jörg Höflich, Head of Virtual Bundesliga at the DFL, presented Leipzig with the trophy. "Congratulations to RB Leipzig as the old and new German Club Champions in eFootball!" he said. "They are the first team to win this trophy in front of spectators. It was great to experience the final with fans in the hall for the first time. This was another milestone in the development of the Virtual Bundesliga. We would like to thank all participating clubs and partners and are already looking forward to the VBL Grand Final in June."
VBL Open Playoffs and VBL Grand Final up next
As in previous years, eFootballers qualified for the individual eFootball German Championships via the VBL Club competition. Two team members from each of the clubs in fifth to eleventh place in both divisions will now take part in the VBL Open playoffs. These will be held on 6 and 7 May, with qualification for the VBL Grand Final up for grabs. In addition, two team members from each of the first four clubs in both divisions will advance directly to the VBL Grand Final, which will be held as an offline event at the Strassenkicker Base in Cologne on 10 and 11 June.
The DFL, in cooperation with EA SPORTS, was the first ever professional football league to launch an eSport competition (2012) and the VBL remains, to this day, the only eSport competition which is directly integrated into the EA SPORTS FIFA game. Since 2020, the DFL has also been collaborating with the ESL FACEIT Group to further develop and professionalize the VBL.
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