Thursday, February 13, 2020

BUNDESLIGA: Virtual Bundesliga International Series kicks off in Spring 2020

The Bundesliga is taking the next step in expanding its eFootball tournaments across the world as it launches the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) International Series 2020. As part of the competition online and offline tournaments will take place in multiple countries as they aim to identify the top players from Asia and the Americas.

The finalists will win a unique trip to Germany for a once in a lifetime experience to compete in the VBL International Final. They will be given the opportunity to meet professional Bundesliga and professional VBL players, visit some Bundesliga clubs and experience the most exciting football league in the world, live.

The VBL International Series will kick-off with Regional Qualifiers hosted in several countries including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, East Timor and Vietnam in Asia, as well as Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, the USA and Canada in the Americas region.

In the second stage of the competition, the top performers from each Regional Online Qualifier will then represent their region at the VBL Continental Qualifiers in April 2020. These will be run as offline events – with one tournament taking place in Asia and one for the Americas respectively.

Those playing in the VBL Continental Qualifiers will be kitted out in official Bundesliga club jerseys. In line with the spirit of the competition, they will represent the respective club throughout the remaining period of the competition into the VBL International Final, which will take place in Germany in May 2020.

To organise all VBL International Series Regional Qualifiers, the Bundesliga is partnering with Battlefy. Battlefy is a well-known platform in the global FIFA eSports scene, ideal for coordinating the high number of participants and creating a spectacular experience across 21 countries.

The VBL International Series is a separate competition to Germany’s Virtual Bundesliga. As the first football league in the world to launch an eFootball tournament back in 2012, the VBL now incorporates the German VBL Open, VBL Club Championship and the VBL Grand Final, which is an Official Licensed Qualifier and awards points as part of the FIFA 20 Global Series ecosystem. The VBL has an impressive track record of over 100,000 participating online gamers every season.

Robert Klein, Bundesliga International CEO, said: “Nobody does eFootball like the Bundesliga. Whilst the last seven years have already been amazing, the last three years have really seen the VBL grow internationally with big tournaments in Chile, Malaysia or India. In season 2018/19 the VBL International Series Qualifier included participants from 12 countries, over 10 hours of Virtual Bundesliga action broadcasted across Asia and over 150.000 viewers. The VBL International Final was covered live by 6 Bundesliga broadcasting partners in over 10 countries. Together with professional teams and fan driven competitions, alongside our gaming partner EA Sports, we have brought something new and fun to the table, something bigger and better than before – ‘eFootball As It's Meant To Be’!”

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President, Digital Innovations at DFL Group, added: “Combining the online and offline world of football, the VBL International Series merges the passions of a new generation of gamers and Bundesliga fans around the world. This competition is yet another milestone in the Bundesliga’s success story of establishing a leading global eSports competition, an asset that further confirms the Bundesliga’s reputation as football’s innovation leader.”

About the VBL
As a pioneer in Europe, the Virtual Bundesliga was launched 2012-13 as the first eSport competition of a professional football league. Through the innovative game mode, only clubs and license players of the Bundesliga are represented and used by the participants. The VBL Open with over 100.000 participating online gamers every year and the VBL Club Championship with 22 clubs of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 competing with their professional gamers in season 2018-19 and season 2019-20, the Virtual Bundesliga is the most important eSport competition for EA Sports FIFA in Germany. The VBL Grand Final gives top performers of the online qualification the chance to compete with the clubs´ pro gamer. The annual enhancement of media coverage and the broadcast of the final tournament over multiple channels has increased the interest and reach of the competition year after year.

About the VBL International Series
In the season 2017-18 the Virtual Bundesliga has expanded its eFootball tournaments globally, launching the VBL International Series in South America and South East Asia, including participants from multiple countries. The competition was played in EA Sports FIFA and took place independently of the German Virtual Bundesliga as a distinct tournament series. All gamers played with Bundesliga teams to deliver the authentic Bundesliga experience. The 2018-19 International Series was held in South East Asia and India. The respective winners played the VBL International Final in Germany. Additionally, the International Series Champion was part of diverse Bundesliga and Virtual Bundesliga activities, including exclusive visits of professional Bundesliga clubs, training sessions and visits of Bundesliga games. As the Virtual Bundesliga grows constantly, the VBL International Series 2019-20 shall also reach the next level. Online and offline tournaments in EA Games’ FIFA in multiple countries all over the world will lead to a VBL International Final in Germany.

About the Bundesliga
The Bundesliga is the premier professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. The league was established in 1963 and comprises 18 teams which operate on a system of promotion and relegation with the Bundesliga 2. The Bundesliga is broadcast on television in over 200 countries and is operated by the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga.

About Battlefy
Battlefy is where amateur and professional gamers compete in eSports competitions from the world’s leading game developers, consumer brands, professional teams, and gaming communities. Battlefy is the technology platform and operating partner for over 240,000 amateur and professional eSports tournaments worldwide. With competitions across every major game title, Battlefy is where organizations and players create unforgettable experiences and define their eSports legacies.

Follow all the latest Bundesliga action on and via the official FacebookTwitter and Instagram channels. More information on the VBL is available here:

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