Munich – The wait is finally over! The opening season of the European League of Football (ELF) begins this weekend (live on ProSieben MAXX and ran.de). ran.de gives you all the important information about the new football league in the beginning.
Which teams participate in the European League of Football?
A total of eight teams have signed up for the premiere season. Six from Germany and one each from Poland and Spain.
Frankfurt Galaxy, Stuttgart Surge, Cologne Centurions and Barcelona Dragons play in the South Division.
The Berlin Thunder, Panthers Wroclaw, Hamburg Sea Devils and Leipzig Kings play in the north.
German football fans should be particularly pleased with the return of the Frankfurt Galaxy and Hamburg Sea Devils. Both franchises were already in NFL Europe. The ELF was able to secure the naming rights to the new league.
In what mode is it played?
The league is divided into two divisions, which were put together according to regional criteria. There are four teams in each division. Each team plays two matches against competitors from its own division and two matches against teams from the other division. In total, each participant has ten matches in the regular season.
On Saturday, the Barcelona Dragons meet the Stuttgart Surge (from 7pm in the livestream on ran.de), and the Wroclow Panthers meet the Cologne Centurions. The top duel between Hamburg Sea Devils and Frankfurt Galaxy follows on Sunday (ProSieben MAXX and ran.de broadcast live from 2.45 pm). The match will be commented live from Hamburg by Jan Stecker and Volker Schenk, while field reporter Christoph “Icke” Dommisch is looking for votes.
The top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. The semifinals are scheduled to take place on September 11 and 12. The respective winning teams will then meet on September 26 in the first “ELF Bowl”, which will take place in the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf.
Which teams are top favorites?
Hard to say. Some observers talk about an absolute “lucky bag” associated with the ELF – not unusual when starting a new league.
However, the two former NFL Europe teams Frankfurt Galaxy and Hamburg Sea Devils are considered heavyweights. The latter put a real exclamation point with Kasim Edebali’s commitment and was otherwise particularly busy with personnel policy.
Commissioner Patrick “Coach” Esume was impressed by Frankfurters at the opening press conference on Tuesday: “I saw them in a direct duel with Cologne. I was very impressed with the depth of the players.”
However, the 47-year-old does not want to commit to a favorite. Overall, the league is considered to be very balanced, with all teams counting on their chances of winning the title.
Which players should fans pay special attention to?
The galleon figure is clearly Kasim Edebali. The former NFL pro even got his own sitcom called “Food Ball – Fresh, Hot & Crispy”. This should increase the charisma and awareness of the Hamburg Sea Devils, but also the entire ELF. All episodes can be viewed here.
The focus is also on ELF professionals who – like Edebali – have been able to gain NFL experience. These include Phillip Friis Andersen (Hamburg Sea Devils, formerly with Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Anthony Dable-Wolf (Leipzig Kings, formerly with New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons) and Chris Ezeala (Cologne Centurions, formerly on the Baltimore Ravens list).
The deciding factor will be what impact these and other professionals with an NFL past can have on the performance of their teammates.
Where is the game played?
The Panthers from Wroclaw have the largest arena. They perform their game at the Olympic Stadium in Wroclaw, which can accommodate 50,000 spectators.
The other teams bake even smaller rolls. The spectrum ranges from 4,300 seats at the Lichterfelde Stadium (Berlin Thunder) to over 12,000 seats at the Frankfurt PSD Bank Arena on the Bornheimer Hang.
The match on Sunday between Hamburg Sea Devils and Frankfurt Galaxy will take place at Hoheluft Stadium with 8,000 seats. However, due to the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions, fewer spectators will be admitted. ELF is currently still in contact with the city of Hamburg.
How can I watch the matches live?
ProSieben MAXX and ran.de is the right address for ELF fans. To “run football”-Team reports a total of 13 matches on ProSieben MAXX. More games can be seen in the livestream on ran.de.
In addition, ran.de offers detailed highlight clips and background reports. Basically, there has never been so much football! NFL, college football and European League of Football: ProSieben, ProSieben MAXX and ran.de broadcast a total of 120 matches live this season.
Want the most important ELF news, videos and data directly on your smartphone? So get the new running app with push notifications for the most important news in your favorite sport. Available in the App Store for Apple and Android.