Virtual Bundesliga Rundown: The way to the play-offs - VBL Nord West

Credit: DFL

The Virtual Bundesliga enters the final doubleheader of Phase I. The battle for the Club Championship Finals and Final Chance Round spots is coming to a head. Learn how your team qualifies for the play-offs in this blog.

Never heard of Phase I, Final Chance Round and Club Championship Finals? No problem, learn all about the competition mode hier

After double matchday 12 (02.03.21) and at the same time the penultimate matchday, the table looks like this:

Find out how your team can make it to the playoffs here:

VfL Bochum 1848

Current rank: 1

Pending games:

VfL Bochum vs. VfL Wolfsburg - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 129

Best-case scenario: VfL Bochum take their fate into their own hands and win the remaining game against VfL Wolfsburg, then practically nothing should stand in the way of a championship and direct entry into the Final Four.

Congratulations to VfL Bochum for an outstanding season!

Worst-Case-Scenario: VfL Bochum loses its remaining match, while at the same time FC St. Pauli AND 1. FC Köln get 15-18 / 18 points and 25-28 / 36 points respectively, depending on the amount of Bochum's defeat. Only then can the VFL still slip to 3rd place and miss out on direct qualification for the Club Championship Final.

Conclusion: VfL Bochum will most likely not only go directly to the Club Championship Final, but also claim the VBL North-West Championship.

FC St. Pauli

Current rank: 2

Pending games:

SC Paderborn 07 vs. FC St. Pauli - 09.03.21, 18:00

Hannover 96 vs. FC St. Pauli - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 124

Best-Case-Scenario: If FC St. Pauli win both of their remaining games, only 1. FC Köln will be able to outdo FC St. Pauli with four flawless games. Therefore, we say with two wins against quite feasible opponents, FC St. Pauli should join VfL Bochum and move directly into the Club Championship final.

Worst case scenario: FC St. Pauli could actually still be eliminated. If the club were to lose both games, and lose them by a significant margin, there would be a chance that the club from Hamburg could still be relegated to 7th place. BUT, for that to happen, a lot would have to happen at the same time. First, the Hanseaten would have to get a maximum of 2 out of the last 18 points. In addition, Kiel would have to win at least 15/18, Cologne at least 13/36, Wolfsburg at least 11/18, Gladbach at least 9/18 and Leverkusen 9/9 points for FC St. Pauli to actually miss out on the final chance stage.

Conclusion: Although the battle for second place and thus for direct entry into the Club Championship final is still wide open, at least the participation in the Final Chance Stage is as good as certain.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Current rank: 3

Pending games:

Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. Hannover 96 - 09.03.21, 18:00

Max. Achievable points: 109

Best-Case-Scenario: If Bayer wins the upcoming match against Hannover with at least 7 points, the team has a good chance to qualify for the final. In this case, only one of the rivals would have to drop points to qualify.

Worst Case Scenario: Although Leverkusen are in third place as of today, fans should not be sure of qualification just yet. In the worst case scenario, Leverkusen loses their remaining game, leaving them with a maximum of 103 points. If this were to happen, the teams between 3rd and 6th place would "only" have to earn 22%-33% (depending on the team) of the remaining points to pass Leverkusen. Holstein Kiel would then have to pick up at least 10/18 points to end the season early for the virtual Werkself.

Conclusion: Even a win might not be enough for Leverkusen to reach the final. The fact is that Bayer now no longer carries its own destiny, which should make for an exciting nail-biter next Tuesday.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Current rank: 4

Pending games:

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Eintracht Braunschweig - 09.03.21, 18:00

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. SV Werder Bremen - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 118

Best-Case-Scenario: For Borussia, the mission should clearly be a double victory. With two wins, Gladbach would qualify for the play-offs in any case. But even direct participation in the Club Championship final is not out of the question. For this, Gladbach would have to win both games and at the same time hope for high defeats of St. Pauli and Cologne.

Worst case scenario: Despite the good position in the table, the play-off participation is not yet set in stone. Only 6 points separate Borussia and Holstein Kiel. So if the worst case happens for Gladbach and both games are lost, it could mean the premature end. Gladbach would then stand at a maximum of 106 points in the league. If Kiel get 13/18, Cologne 11/36, Wolves 9/18 and Leverkusen 7/9 points, Gladbach would be in 7th place.

Bottom line: Borussia fans have next to nothing to worry about. The equation is simple. If Gladbach get as many points in two games as Leverkusen get in one, then they're safely through!

VfL Wolfsburg

Current rank: 5

Pending games:

FC Schalke 04 vs. VfL Wolfsburg - 09.03.21, 18:00

VfL Bochum vs. VfL Wolfsburg - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 116

Best-case scenario: For the Wolves, the best-case scenario looks similar to Borussia Mönchengladbach. They have to win big themselves and at the same time hope for big defeats of the better placed teams to qualify directly for the Club Championship final. However, with Wolves still playing league leaders Bochum, we think the more realistic best-case scenario is to hold their place and qualify for the play-offs. For that to happen, they would have to finish a maximum of 4 points worse than Kiel or 7 points worse than HSV on the final double-header. Doable task!

Worst-case scenario: The Wolves have a four-point buffer on seventh place. With 18 points still up for grabs, that allows for plenty of worst-case scenarios. Furthermore, while VfL is still in 5th place as of today, it is nonetheless not a bold proposition to say that 1. FC Köln will make up or overtake the two point deficit in the two outstanding catch-up games from the 12th double-header. So should the Wolves finish 5 points less than Kiel or 8 points less than HSV etc. then the Wolves would indeed miss the Final Chance tournament.

Conclusion: from 5th place onwards, the race for the play-offs comes to an extreme head. We believe that everything could depend on game 3 against Bochum. In addition, Wölfe fans should definitely keep an eye on Kiel vs. Cologne at 18:00, because here a small preliminary decision could already fall. Get ready for a really exciting last double match day!

1st FC Cologne

Current rank: 6

Pending games:

SV Werder Bremen vs. 1. FC Köln - TBD

1. FC Cologne vs. Hannover 96 - TBD

Holstein Kiel vs. 1. FC Köln - 09.03.21, 18:00

1. FC Cologne vs. FC Schalke 04 - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 132

Best-Case-Scenario: Since 1. FC Köln still has 4 games to play, they can still make a decent march up the table. The maximum achievable number of points (132) is even higher than that of current league leader VfL Bochum (129). The best-case scenario for 1. FC Köln is therefore direct Club Championship final participation. The Effzeh could even set the course for this with the two catch-up games. If Cologne get 11 points in these two games, they would pass St. Pauli and be on their way to the Club Championship final.

Worst Case Scenario: With four games left to play, there is as much room to move down as there is to move up, even 10th place would still be within reach. Worst case scenario: Cologne loses the two catch-up games and remains in 4th - 6th place, depending on the amount of defeats. Then there would be a direct duel with Holstein Kiel on matchday 25. If FC Köln loses this match, their fate would possibly be out of their own hands, which could end in non-qualification!

Conclusion: in the last four games, anything between 10th and 1st place is possible. For better or worse, the Effzeh has everything in its own hands! However, we think that the Cologne team is more likely to make up ground than to slip down.

Holstein Kiel

Current rank: 7

Pending games:

Holstein Kiel vs. 1. FC Köln - 09.03.21, 18:00

Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Holstein Kiel - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 112

Best Case Scenario: Holstein Kiel must win both of their remaining games to have a chance at playoff participation. Since Kiel are not in the top 6 as of today and have no games to catch up on, they have to hope for a defeat from their rivals. Here we see the best chances with VfL Wolfsburg. The Wolves still have the current league leaders in front of them, who will be looking to clinch direct entry into the Club Championship final themselves in their last game. So the best-case scenario is to win big and hope that one of the direct rivals slips up.

Worst-Case-Scenario: In the worst case we lose the first game against Cologne. Then the dream would be as good as burst. That's why we don't want to dwell on the second game against Braunschweig, because the first game will possibly be decisive and point the way ahead.

Conclusion: Clearly, a lot depends on the game against Cologne. If we lose this game, we could slip down to rank 8, from where the way to the play-offs might be too far. But if they win the game against Cologne, the door to a play-off spot would be wide open again and they would send a strong, pressure-filled signal to the competition.

Hamburg SV

Current rank: 8

Pending games:

SV Werder Bremen vs. Hamburger SV - 09.03.21, 18:00

Hamburger SV vs. SC Paderborn 07 - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 109

SC Paderborn 07

Current rank: 9

Pending games:

SC Paderborn 07 vs. FC St. Pauli - 09.03.21, 18:00

Hamburger SV vs. SC Paderborn 07 - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 103

SV Werder Bremen

Current Rank: 10

Pending games:

SV Werder Bremen vs. Hamburger SV - 09.03.21, 18:00

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. SV Werder Bremen - 09.03.21, 20:00

Max. Achievable points: 105

Outlook for the "Bottom 6

For Paderborn, Bremen and HSV the equation looks similar. All teams would have to score 14 - 18 points and Bremen 21 - 27 points in their remaining games. Only such a performance could put pressure on the competition to let up again on the last double matchday. Fact is, nothing is decided yet. We at E-Sport Manager are looking forward to an exciting Tuesday evening and wish all teams good luck in the race for the play-offs.

For Hannover 96, Eintracht Braunschweig and FC Schalke 04, it is already certain that the season will end early. We wish a happy summer break and a strong comeback!