VfL Wolfsburg and the club's primary e-sport partner, direct insurer CosmosDirekt, have launched the Wolves E-Academy. The objective is to scout and develop FIFA e-sport players and, in the medium term, create a Wolves E-Academy team with promising gamers. Up-and-coming players can demonstrate their skills over the course of several qualifying rounds, with a view to reaching the Grand Final in Wolfsburg on 25 – 27 May. There, a panel of expert judges will observe as the best 16 gamers battle for a place in the Wolves E-Academy. E-sport fans can follow every step of the aspirants' journeys in a specially made YouTube series.
The path into the team
The first step towards the final is via an online qualification tournament. There will subsequently be several more opportunities to qualify for the final weekend. An offline qualification tournament which will take place on 21-22 April in Wolfsburg - registration details to follow shortly; a European-wide online qualifying competition; and a social media skill challenge offer talented gamers additional chances to secure a spot at the final.
"Unique academy concept"
In May 2015 VfL Wolfsburg became the first German club to be actively involved in e-sport. Since then, the Wolves have set a number of milestones in the virtual world and have developed a strong reputation in the community thanks to the excellent performances of the club's professional e-sport players Benedikt Saltzer and Timo Siep. VfL CEO Dr. Tim Schumacher believes the Wolves E-Academy is the next important step in the Wolves' e-sport development: "Alongside our partner CosmosDirekt, we've been able to introduce an academy concept that is unique. Furthermore, VfL Wolfsburg has cemented its role as a leader in e-sport and is giving talented youngsters a chance to live out their passion for the FIFA series together with the Wolves." Dr. Jonas Bastian, head of marketing strategy and governance at CosmosDirekt, was equally enthusiastic: "We're delighted to be able to further extend our successful partnership with VfL Wolfsburg. The Wolves E-Academy is the most professional scouting and development set-up for budding FIFA gamers in all of Germany. This means that together we can make a significant contribution to e-sport establishing itself as a sport."