VfL Osnabrück is also entering the world of eSports next season, or more precisely the Virtual Bundesliga. The club is founding a “special kind” of eFootball team.
VfL Osnabrück will also be taking part in the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) next season. The club announced this via a press release. However, the purple and white team is choosing a special path and founding an eFootball team of “a special kind”.
Statement “for diversity “
The Lower Saxons want to set up a team that will “consist exclusively of talented female and non-binary players.” This will be made possible by the support of the esport player foundation, “which in cooperation with the Equal Esport initiative will professionally take care of the support and promotion of the female players.”
“The topic of eSports is definitely polarising in the existing structures of conventional football, but it has great relevance, especially among the younger generation. With our participation in the VBL, we want to try to break up the hitherto strongly male-dominated scene a little and make a statement for diversity,” says VfL Managing Director Dr Michael Welling and adds: “Especially in eSports, gender plays no role in the competition itself. Accordingly, we hope that our approach will help to ensure that the number of female and male players is also balanced in the future. “
Criticism of participation regulations
At the same time, he criticises the VBL participation regulations: “If it becomes common practice in the VBL in a few years’ time for mixed teams to compete against and with each other, then we would be delighted – even if we as VfL Osnabrück might then no longer be allowed to take part due to the special circumstances which, in our view, undermine the idea of sporting competition”.
This is because only first and second division clubs are allowed to compete in the competition. If a club is relegated to the 3rd division, it no longer has the right to enter. A controversy that is discussed every year. For example, FC Ingolstadt 04, which was successful in the VBL in 2021/2022, had to go down to the third division and could not maintain the eSports team in this form.
Scouting tournament: squad place and scholarship from the Equal Esports Initiative
In terms of finding players, VfL is organising a scouting tournament that will be held at the Esport Factory in Osnabrück. Interested players can register now via an online form. In addition, the three future players in the squad will receive “a corresponding scholarship from the Equal Esports Initiative, which will be individually compiled from a list of over 100 support modules with the aspects relevant to the respective female athlete.”
After Fortuna Düsseldorf, VfL Osnabrück is the next second-division club to field a team in the virtual competition of the German Football League for the first time. The purple and white team also communicated the VBL criteria for the licensing procedure, which came into effect this season, as the decisive reason. Those who do not field a team face unspecified sanctions. However, these consequences would not have any influence on the professional football team’s playing schedule. Moreover, as with other licensing criteria, exceptions are possible “in justified cases”. It remains to be seen whether all first and second division clubs will actually participate in the VBL. Still missing are 1. FC Magdeburg, SV Elversberg and Union Berlin,