Last weekend, VfL Wolfsburg held the Grand Final of the Wolves E-Academy presented by CosmosDirekt. Fazlija, Kühle and Bauer came through the various challenges, proved their worth to the judges on the expert panel and were immediately made members of the Wolves E-Academy team.
Over the coming months, the three young FIFA talents will receive support from VfL, CosmosDirekt insurance company and STARK eSports, and be included in the coaching environment of the Bundesliga club. In the long term, the academy players will be phased into the e-Sport team – currently comprising established e-Sports players Benedikt "SaLz0r" Saltzer, Timo "TimoX" Siep and David "DaveBtw" Bytheway.
The young gamers will be able to leverage the expertise of the other Wolves and benefit from individual training sessions with the e-Sport pros. Fans of the Green and Whites’ e-Sport section will also be able enjoy a three-part series on the Wolves e-Academy coming up on the VfL Wolfsburg YouTube channel, with the first episode of the Grand Final going online on Monday, 4 June.
Training with your heroes
"Being taken on by the Academy team is a dream come true for me. I hope that I’ll be a good ambassador for VfL and develop further both as a gamer and as a person," said 17-year-old Fazlija from Hanover.
Bauer was also delighted at being picked up by the Wolves’ youth team. "I’ve been following FIFA e-Sport for a number of years now," said the 18-year-old from Drachselsried in Bavaria, after qualifying for the Grand Final via online tournaments. "The Wolves E-Academy is a dream come true for me as it’ll give me the chance to see how I fare against my heroes SaLz0r and TimoX, as well as getting to train with them."
At 16, Coesfeld native Kühle is the youngest of the three new recruits for the e-Sport Wolves, and he too is relishing the opportunities the Wolves E-Academy will have to offer as he establishes himself on the e-Sport scene: "I'm really looking forward to what’s coming up and will try to improve as much as I can and learn lots from my team-mates."
'Very much earned their spots'
Throughout the weekend, the 16 Grand Final participants got to tap into the experience and advice of established e-Sport figures Saltzer and Siep, and the two pro gamers were impressed with the qualities of the youngsters as well as with the concept of the Wolves E-Academy.
"The winners very much earned their spots from what was a highly competitive entry list," said Saltzer. "They are not only top-class FIFA players, but they proved their worth on a personal level as well."
"The Wolves E-Academy is a great opportunity to get straight into a top e-Sports team," Siep added. "We pushed their talents to the limit in the various challenges, but everyone still managed to enjoy themselves. We’re all looking forward now to helping the three guys continue to improve."