The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) is responsible for all operational business concerning the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. Together with EA Sports they have initiated the Virtual Bundesliga, sponsored by TAG Heuer, and its Club Championship will start in January next year with 22 clubs participating. Fans’s favorites like the HSV or Schalke 04 have their teams taking part and will certainly lure some viewers. To make sure the growing eSports section for FIFA 19 generates as much attention as possible, the DFL partner with ProSiebenSat.1, showing a Featured Match on free TV, per livestream and providing relevant news on their internet platforms each week.
A new eSports studio for the Featured Match
ProSiebenSat.1 will show one Featured Match from the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship, which takes place between January and March 2019. The first of those will be SV Werder Bremen vs RB Leipzig. Werder’s duo, Michael “MegaBit” Bittner und Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkours is currently among the five best in the world, so they might be early favorites.
Their first game will a special one in terms of coverage. A Featured Match consists of three games, two of them one-on-one, the final one two vs two. But on January 17th ProSiebenSat.1 will not only show that Featured Match live on ProSieben MAXX at Prime Time (20.15 or quarter past 8 PM in Germany), which is free TV, but also via livestream on ran.de and prosiebenmaxx.de. Apart from the actual game, there will be pre-match analyses, interviews, featured content and additional information for fans. Furthermore, the highlights and contextual news will appear on those websites, too.
Max Zielke will be a moderator, whereas changing commentators will give their voices to make the experience more entertaining. For the very entertainment part of it, ProSiebenSat.1 have even built a new genuine eSports studio.
More than the one Featured Match will be presented
Apart from the Featured Matches, similar to the Premier League’s Match of the Day, there will be selected scenes from various other matches that should give viewers more of a holistic perspective. For it is actually a real sports championship, the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship, not a tiny gaming contest. That’s why the DFL had come to the fore to create the first cooperation of a professional football league with EA Sports and the very first EA Sports FIFA-integrated competition overall.
Now the DFL and ProSiebenSat.1 will give the ever growing number of eSports fans the opportunity to view the best FIFA 19 eSports stars in action for their respective clubs. 21 matchdays offer 693 single games in 231 matches.
You can download the full fixture list here.
Last season’s final was already shown live on free TV, brought to the audience by Sport1, and the fans could also turn to a livestream on sport1.de, to Facebook or YouTube Live. Nielsen Sports’ Lars Stegelmann had explained that football and eSports are a match not matter what.
The Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship promises to be exciting and will be able to transfer that excitement to many more fans and interested ones in Germany in particular. That exposure might help clubs and the league to generate more sponsors and more income. But football clubs and media brands like ProSiebenSat.1 do have the big opportunity to really catch on and make themselves a popular option for a young generation of fans and convince even more people of the entertainment factor that eSports possess. And as more people get curious, so the surroundings for extended marketing get strengthened. Germany and the DFL have set an example and other countries might follow. So we await the first Featured Match in January, when the Bundesliga restarts, too. Maybe one day the football/eSports fans will follow the Bundesliga and the Virtual Bundesliga in a similar manner: with passion and excitement and on the biggest channels, big time.