The German hockey club Düsseldorfer EG will branch out on to the virtual ice in the near future. As the first club of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the club with tradition dating back to 1935 will soon go into competition mode with its own esports team that will be taking part in several online leagues.
The team "DEG eSports" currently consists of twelve experienced online ice hockey players from Germany and Austria. DEG eSports is now looking to follow in the footsteps of SJK eSports in taking a shot at establishing a successful franchise in the 6vs6 community. The team, established by long-time DEG fans Tobias Anton and Steffen Seibert, will mainly focus on competing in the ECL and GCL but also aim to compete in other leagues as opportunities present themselves. All of the teams games will be streamed live on the DEG eSports Facebook page. The members will be representing Düsseldorfer EG both virtually and in real-life events, which will be announced later. The club also promises that various other representatives of Düsseldorfer EG might join in on the fun from time to time.
Stefan Adam, Managing Director of DEG Eishockey GmbH: "Esports is a young and dynamic sport, it's a community that is gaining more popularity among hockey fans. We are pleased to announce that we are pioneers with DEG in this environment, with our own esports team. It is a very interesting development in a completely new environment for us, which we are very excited about actively pursuing."
Tobias Anton, team captain of DEG eSports: "It's a great thing for us to be the first official team of a DEL club. Our goal was to build an ambitious troupe of DEG fans, but also involve skilled players without the regional background. Our goal is to gain success as fast as possible in the ECL and play for the title in the GCL."
Prior to the press conference held by Düsseldorfer EG, I had the pleasure of discussing this new venture with team captain Tobias Anton:
Hi there, Tobias! We're very happy to hear about your new opportunity and you must be just as excited. I'm very interested in how the project took off. Could you please comment on that a bit?
Well, it all started in June, when we made the suggestion to the german hockey club Düsseldorfer EG. I made a nice presentation with all interesting stuff about esports, questions like "Why esports?", "Why with us?", "Why is it a win-win situation?". They quickly invited us to present our concept live in their offices and after a short negotiation, they finally agreed to go ahead with this project. Now, here we are at the end of September, as representatives of DEG eSports.
How did you come up with the idea?
Actually, I got this idea after EV Duisburg won ECL6 Lite - they've played together for years, however they aren't an official part of the Duisburg hockey club. I liked the idea to make a team for my favourite hockey club, but I wanted to be serious about it. I am a kind of person who likes to think big, always on the lookout for the next cool thing I could launch. I started off by writing a post in a DEG facebook group, hiring players for a team with the idea of becoming an official esports team one day. Most of the reactions were negative. "You'll never do that', or "Maybe start smaller and not with big ideas like that" - but one guy immediately had the same fire, so we started this club together. I took more of a back-office role in writing to the hockey club and making a presentation as my teammate recruited more players - he knows the community better than I do.
So, where do you go from here? How will you be co-operating with Düsseldorfer EG?
On social media, we will run our own Facebook page and Twitch channel, but work together with DEG's official press department. So, some of our posts will be presented on their channels (FB, IG, Twitter...), we will have a presentation in the stadium and many more things planned so stay tuned!
Today, we're having the press conference and if things go our way, we'll be airing our first training matches on our Twitch channel on Wednesday and Thursday.
Do you think the club will expand into other esports in the future?
After all, I don't think that the club will expand into other games or sports - it's a hockey thing, it's a regional thing, and there are no plans to do more than that at the moment.
Thanks for your time Tobias and good luck in your future games to the team!
Congratulations on behalf of the NHLGamer community to @Tümä and the boys!