Esports tournament organiser ESL and the DFL German Football League have entered into a strategic partnership to further develop the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL).
As part of the agreement, ESL will take over the entire media production for the national VBL competitions. Moreover, the Grand Final tournament and Club Championship, starting next week, will be editorially supported on ESL’s social media.
The esports entity has also acquired extensive media rights to the VBL, with the aim being to licensing these to various distribution partners, according to ESL. Additionally, the 26 clubs taking part in the VBL Club Championship will also receive rights to broadcast and report on their own games.
Ralf Reichert, Co-CEO of ESL commented: “EFootball has been an integral part of the esports community and ESL for many years. Together with the DFL, Germany’s most important sports league, we want to develop the VBL into a renowned sports league to take it to the next level.”
In 2012, the DFL was the first professional football league to launch an eFootball competition with the VBL. Together with ESL and its expertise in the development and expansion of ecosystems in connection with esports, the DFL has ambitions to further expand and professionalise the VBL.
Andreas Heyden, EVP Digital Innovation at DFL added: “The Virtual Bundesliga is already the most authentic representation of a soccer league in EA Sports FIFA. We would like to continue to establish it as a digital competition.
“With ESL, we have won a partner who has already proven that they can successfully set up esports competitions and communities worldwide – including in the field of soccer simulations. We want to make the VBL even more tangible and exciting and the ESL brings the necessary experience and passion to achieve exactly that.”
Esports Insider Says: The Virtual Bundesliga is a major league for those in Germany who want to get onto the FIFA esports ladder. ESL is a fantastic partner of choice, as the firm will be able to provide more coverage and bring more viewership to what is already a growing fan-base.