#B04eSports: Final Chance exit against Hoffenheim

End of the line in Final Chance round: The Bayer 04 eSports players suffered a 5-2 defeat against TSG Hoffenheim in phase 2 of the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL). A draw in the 2 v 2 match was followed by defeat in the 1 v 1 encounter. A draw in the second 1 v 1 was not enough to force a decider in a fourth match using the Golden Goal mode. That meant the end of the dream of winning the German championships for the Leverkusen eSports players.

For the first time in the nine-year history of the official eSports Bundesliga of the German Football League (DFL) the teams were organised into two sections for the 2020/21 season. The clubs were in North-West and South-East divisions. The eSports players from the first and second division clubs played 26 games in their respective league, which was divided into two half seasons like the Bundesliga.

The #B04eSports players secured fifth spot in the North-West section with 109 points. That qualified the team for the Final Chance round. This was played on Tuesday and Wednesday with the teams finishing third to sixth in the two divisions competing for a slot in the VBL Grand Final. The top two teams from the two sections qualified directly for the finals tournament.

Draw in first clash

The teams started the Final Chance with a 2 v 2 match. Hoffenheim had the choice of console as the better-placed side and they opted for Xbox. While Lukas ‘LUKAS_1004’ Seiler and Jan-Luca ‘BASSINHO’ Bass were on the controllers for TSG, Bayer 04 started with the experienced Kai ‘DETO’ Wollin and youngster Marc ‘MARC_LDW23’ Landwehr. And the Black and Reds took the lead just before half-time: The virtual Kerem Demirbay found Samed Onur on the edge of the box and he dummied his opponent before putting the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0 (40’). A successful start to the evening.

The closing stages of the 2 v 2 encounter brought a setback: Daley Sinkgraven was alleged to have brought down an opponent in the penalty area and the TSG eSports players converted the ensuing penalty (72’). Not much happened after that and the scoreline was 1-1 after the first virtual 90 minutes. “A hard-fought game with an unlucky penalty decision,” was ‘DETO’ assessment of the 2 v 2.

Narrow defeat for youngster

The following 1 v 1 on PlayStation 4 saw Bayer 04’s ‘MARC_LDW23’ taking on Hoffenheim’s ‘LUKAS_1004’. The clash between the two 18-year-olds looked to be heading for a another draw – until the TSG eSports player broke into the penalty area on 76 minutes with a clear sight of the target. The Hoffenheim player made no mistake as he slotted the ball into the right side of the goal and that turned out to be the winner.

Xbox draw not enough

Leverkusen needed a victory in the third match against TSG to force a fourth and decisive encounter. Fabian ‘B04_DUBZJE’ De Cae started on Xbox against ‘BASSINHO’. The Leverkusen player pressed forward in search of the important opener and was successful on 58 minutes. However, the strike from Demirbay was surprisingly ruled out. “We can’t really explain the reasons for that,” ‘B04_DUBZJE’ is reported to have said after the final whistle. Bitter: Shortly after that came the opener from TSG (62’).

‘B04_DUBZJE’ upped the ante and again and again he got into the opposition box. The #B04eSports player netted a deserved leveller on 85 minutes. In spite of a number of clear-cut chances at the death, the Black and Reds were unable to score the crucial second goal. “The FIFA god unfortunately wasn’t on our side tonight,” summed up ‘B04_DUBZJE’ after the exit from the Final Chance round.

The evening ended with a narrow defeat in the Final Chance round. The #B04eSports players have missed out on progressing to the VBL Grand Final.

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